The New Jersey Nets may be changing locations sooner than expected since Russian multi-billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov just bought out 80% of the franchise. NBA commissioner David Stern has widely opened arms out to Prokhorov with the belief that the new deal will benefit the league on an international level. Standing at 6’6, the richest man in Russia was also a stand-out ball player back in the day.
Many owners and players are excited for the NBA’s new international addition. Russia has a proud basketball history and currently serve as top contenders in the Euroleague. Despite the country’s success that includes their recent Euro Championship run in 2007, the only Russian player in the NBA right now is Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko.
Highly outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is another opinion that is thrilled with the Nets new beginnings. “I love it. I think he will bring fresh ideas and viewpoints, and hopefully this will be the start of a trend toward international investors,” Cuban said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “Plus, I took Russian in high school, so it will give me a chance to refresh.”
The Nets franchise began as members of the ABA in 1967. After going back and forth between New Jersey and New York they landed in East Rutherford, NJ in 1981. After 30 years in the Izod Center, the organization will find their new home in New York.