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Good sign for Nets: Prokhorov's last team was a big winner

Apr 27, 2010, 11:45 AM EDT

Mikhail Prokhorov’s office is bigger and more expensively furnished than your entire apartment. His secretary is eye catching. Frankly, you’d move into his office if you could.

That is the first thing you’ll take away from a New York Times story on the soon-to-be Nets owner (and you get that just from the picture). The second thing is that his history as the owner of CSKA in Moscow could be a sign of very good things to come in New Jersey and New York.

CSKA could be the Dallas Mavericks of Europe. Under Prokhorov — who gave up the team in 2007 — the club spent freely on players, facilities and travel and established a winning culture. Marc Cornstein, a player agent with clients in both the N.B.A. and abroad, said CSKA was run “the most similar to an N.B.A. team as any team in Europe.”

CSKA has claimed two of the last four Euroleague titles and seven straight Russian league championships… Prokhorov’s background as a basketball player helped inform his decisions, although he was regarded as hands-off when it came to daily operations.

“We were lucky,” Sergei Kuschenko, the former president of CSKA. “He certainly understands basketball and other sports in which communication, the team and balance are important.”

The article — like many before it — talked about Prokhorov in Mark Cuban-like terms. Not only the money, but also being younger and more in touch with the current players and their generation than most owners. Cuban also took over a laughing stock franchise and turned it into one of the best in the league.

It all sounds good… now if the state of New York would just finish taking over the land that will make this deal final, we can start to see what he can really do. Not that all this speculation isn’t fun.

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