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Mikhail Prokhorov defends Jason Kidd… and by the way he watches the games

Jan 16, 2014, 6:51 PM EST

Brooklyn Nets v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

Mikhail Prokhorov is paying a lot of money for the Brooklyn Nets — pushing $190 million in salary and luxury tax alone — so you’d expect he’d want to watch his team play.

Which is why he was in London, for the Nets win Thursday at the 02 Arena over Atlanta 127-110, behind 29 from Joe Johnson.

Prokhorov gets some criticism in Brooklyn for not being at games, he is seen by some as a bit of an absentee owner. Meeting (and cracking a lot of jokes) with the press in London, Prokhorov scoffed at the notion, as reported by Stefan Bondy at the New York Daily News.

“Frankly speaking, there’s a lot of criticism that I am not in Brooklyn. But I just have a question for you: Do you really think you need me sitting in the arena to see a game?” said Prokhorov, noting that he has been busy preparing for the Winter Olympics in Sochi as the president of Russia’s Biathlon Union. “My friends, we are living in the 21st century. And in spite of the fact I have no computer, I still have a subscription for NBA games and, for me, it’s like enough to even have a look on the stats so you can understand what is going on. …So like I’m full in, I’m all in for this team and I think it’s the only way how to reach championship.”

As for the other big question in Brooklyn, Jason Kidd isn’t going anywhere, Prokhorov said. That despite the fact he fired Avery Johnson a year ago when he had a 14-14 record.

“What is more important is that Jason Kidd is becoming more and more comfortable. And what is important is he has the support of the players,” Prokhorov said when asked about the difference between coaches. “And that’s the only way how we can conduct together. So everything is okay because, of course, we can’t make any excuse with injuries. And what I’m glad to see is the players stepping up in the situation. Now everything is more or less okay.”

If things are okay is in the eye of the beholder, but with the win the Nets remain tied for the 7/8 seed in the East and while they are improving teams such as Detroit above them are having struggles. If there are no more injuries and they keep defending like they have since Kevin Garnett was moved to the center position, the Nets likely will make the playoffs.

Not sure that’s what Prokhorov wanted for his $190 million, but I guess it’s okay.

  1. csbanter - Jan 16, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    Every team does not need a Mark Cuban for it to be successful.

  2. smoothaswilkes - Jan 16, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    What, did you expect him to drop the hammer and sickle on Mr. Kidd? He’s right to be okay with things as they sit. The East is weak, veteran teams peak later in the season, Kidd hasn’t lost the team, at all, they had some nice comeback wins, and are 7-3 in their last 10 against some good talent. It’s not 190 million in value to date, but it’s all about the end game. If this team peaks at the right time, why not?

  3. tomtravis76 - Jan 16, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    You stick with Kidd for a few seasons, no need to blow him out of there. He is adjusting to being the HC in the league. He was a great pg during his time, he knows the game just about as well as any coach you would hire. It gives the Brooklyn team a face in a soon to be transitioning franchise.

  4. jimeejohnson - Jan 17, 2014 at 8:11 PM

    By the way: he likes Russian vodka.

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