May 21, 2010, 5:41 PM EDT
Earlier today, Bill Simmons posted a thorough and definitive guide on why you should love Mikhail Prokhorov. There’s a lot to like — the insane wealth, the shameless cavorting with beautiful women, the fact he’s 6-8, does jet ski flips, works out for two hours a day, and can dunk, that he brags about not sleeping at night, and that he generally sounds like a Russian version of Batman.
Two years ago, Mr. Rotondaro was working in a pizza kitchen. He began writing more and more, and published a few items for The Huffington Post, worked briefly as a crime reporter for the Brooklyn Eagle and then enrolled in j-school.By his own admission, he wasn’t an obvious choice for the sit-down. He spent the last few months occasionally filing for a blog run by Columbia called Brooklyn Ink. He had five bylines.Then, there he was, getting one of the most in-demand exclusives of the week and delivering a 2,300 word Q & A with Mr. Prokhorov.
Not the guy you’d expect Prokhorov to give such a major interview to. But according to the article, Prokhorov had some good reasons for giving the interview to Rotondaro. Prokhorov wanted a Brooklyn blogger to do the interview — apparently, Prokhorov supports blogs even though he does not use computers. His handler had read some of Rotondaro’s pieces in The Huffington Post, and thought he’d be the perfect guy to do the interview based on those pieces. He sent Rotondaro an email, Rotondaro replied, and a little while later he was sipping tea with the billionaire owner of the Nets.
And why did Mr. Prokhorov decide to go with a kid named Vinnie to get the exclusive?Mr. Prokhorov’s spokesman emailed to say that his client “believes in supporting young journalists and Vinnie just graduated this week from one of country’s most prestigious programs, the Columbia School of Journalism.”Also: “Mikhail wants to spend as much time as he can getting to know Brooklyn and its people, and wanted Vinnie to show him a local place. Next time, they plan to have a pizza together somewhere in the borough.”
Not only is Mickael Prokhorov admirable in a “crazy billionaire” way, but now he’s supporting young journalists, spending time in the community, and giving interviews to bloggers? Like I said earlier, there’s a lot to like about this guy.
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