The New Jersey Nets are this year’s victim of the NBA Draft Lottery, holding the NBA’s worst record this season, and yet receiving the third pick in the Draft. While they may miss out on drafting Kentucky superstar John Wall, new owner and Russian billionaire, Mikhail Prokhorov, expects greatness from his Brooklyn-bound squad.
Vinnie Rotondaro of The Brooklyn Ink, a Internet news blog run by students at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism covering all things Brooklyn, recently caught up with Prokhorov to discuss the team’s move and the impact the team will have on the Brooklyn community.
Bruce Ratner, the real estate mogul who sold the team to Prokhorov, is finally wrapping up the legal battles that his Atlantic Yards development and Barclay Center (the Nets’ new home of which Prokhorov also owns a minority share) have faced for years. However, Prokhorov may face the more difficult task of getting the same Brooklynites that opposed the area redevelopment to become the Nets new fan base. How does he plan on accomplishing this goal? Prokhorov sees Brooklyn as the nexus of the NBA and globalization.
In a borough that’s been void of professional sports since the Brooklyn Dodgers left for the West Coast, this may be easier said than done. But Prokhorov is determined to bring an NBA Championship to New York and make the Nets the top basketball team in the sports capital of the world. Check out Rotondaro’s interview with Prokhorov to read more about how the foreign-born sports mogul plans to build a dynasty in Kings County.