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"Why should people get to see plans? This isn't a public project."
Bruce Ratner in Crain's Nov. 8, 2009

The Nets Absentee Owner Prokhorov Comes to Brooklyn Town. Makes Comments

Yesterday the Russian oligarch, Nets owner, 45% owner of the Barclays Center Arena with partner Bruce Ratner, and the holder of an option to own 20% of the rest of the Atlantic Yards project (what's the word on exercising that thing anyway, Ratner said more than 6 months ago that "we'd" know in he'd take the option...6 months) Mikhail Prokhorov came to Brooklyn to join Bruce Ratner for an arena construction photo op and perhaps to seek out "the Brooklynites."

Here, courtesy of The Daily News, he is unplugged and unburnished by flacks, sycophants and cheerleaders who comically claim him to be "the most interesting man in the world:"

Mikhail Prokhorov in his own words
By Stefan Bondy

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov spoke to the media today at the construction site of the Barclays Center.

This is what he said:

Opening statement: When I bought a share of the Barclays Center together with my partner, we had a joke, that I became a partnership in a hole. But now I’m quite happy that we are all here. And with my partner Bruce Ratner and I, we held on to that vision. We saw the future. And we saw that it will be really a wonderful venue for all the Brooklynites. And we saw that it will be a joy and excitement for all the community. The Nets, like the arena, is still under construction. It’s on the building stage and I will keep my prediction of a championship. I will do my best, together with my friends, together with my partners, we will make the Brooklyn Nets the champions of the NBA. And I am very committed to this.
Thoughts on arena?
It’s not my first visit to the arena. Now it looks really good. So I think just welcome the 21st century. I’m sure it will be the best arena in the world. And I am proud to have a partner like Bruce Ratner and we can do together a great miracle. So now we have practically the state of the art arena, and we need to have a genius team. All this combination will give another emotion, another joy, another excitement to the great borough, Brooklyn.
What will it take to build Nets to title contender? So first of all I want to tell that we need to be very patient because it’s easy to have a good team, and playoff team. And it’s very difficult to make a championship team.

Really? Easy? Then why have the Nets sucked and missed the playoffs under his years of ownership?
We need to be really patient. We need to go really slow step to find the best pieces for the team. Not only just really good players. But we need to have the players which can be one very strong single team. Just team spirit. What we need. And we are really on the right way. If you look for example, if you analyze this season, so we have really good young pieces. MarShon Brooks, for example, like Gerald Green. So we’re quite happy that Gerald Wallace is with us. And of course, I think now we are slow coming to the more or less adequate situation. And, of course, if it hadn’t been for the crazy injuries this year I’m sure we would have been in the playoffs, that’s for sure. But we are patient are patience and I hope all our fans will share our approach to the championship. For us, it’s very important they trust in us. And I’ll do my best. I’m very committed.
Thoughts on keeping Deron Williams? Excuse me, I didn’t catch the question. ….Is it no NBA rules that prohibit to comment on the potential interest. So please wait until the summer. I’ll tell you all the details. For the time being, it’s top secret for us.
Courting the Islanders to Barclays? Our arena, we reached agreement with National Hockey League. Now we can play ice hockey here. But in the time being we have no practical plan with any other team. But we will see in the future.
Political aspirations affect ownership of Nets? I think there is no link with my ownership and my potential political career. For me, the last presidential election in Russia was just the starting point for my potential career. But unlike the presidential run, now I have time, have no pressure, but to make an immediate step. So I am in the stage of thinking and working out my political strategy. The world is changing. Russia is changing. We’re facing a very interesting time. So a new generation of Russian. And this election was a great testimony. Like 20 percent of the population is looking for changes. Severe changes in the economy and they want to be a part of the global world. So it’s a nice start, but a little later I can comment in a more practical way.
Reaction to Dwight Howard electing not to be traded to the Nets and to stay in Orlando? I think every owner wants to have a great player. And, of course during our strategy, we tried to use any opportunity. But as far as all these rumors are concerned, I think that people from the office they planned to visit Miami and speak with the agent of Nene at the time. That’s why it was maybe it was a lot of rumors coming from Dwight Howard’s people. And they have same agent. That’s why as soon as we have a legal opportunity, for trading we will do our best to find the best pieces for our team.
Formal goodbye to New Jersey? I hope the majority of the Nets fans from New Jersey will join us here and all our team will do our best in order to invite all the people who supported our team for many, many years to be also the fans here. Our new name will be the Brooklyn Nets, that’s why I hope we can unite New Jersey fans, Manhattan, and, of course, Brooklynites. It’s our new home. And we’ll do our best in order to have this great community together in this great arena. Jobs of Avery Johnson and Billy King? I think Billy and Avery, they are doing great job. We have a common view, not only on the day-to-day routine but on our strategic goal. Just to have a championship team we need to be global view, strategic view and you need to have the common knowledge of how to reach this. So from my point of view, we have a great team spirit and we need a little bit of luck, because the team is very professional, and I hope next season we’ll be much, much better than the previous two. How did you choose Brooklyn Nets? I think it was a very easy task, and like it’s not a big deal. I think this name appeared from the fans from Brooklyn and to all my team and we’re all just very open and it was very short discussion. Like we spoke with some people, also professionals, and it was practically unanimous decision it was the best name for our team. Was there any other variants? Of course, there are some other ways how to give the name to the team but I think it’s a waste of time to discuss bad opportunities. Now we have the best name. You said that 20 percent of Russian people wanted change, but they stayed with current system, did you learn, where do you go? For me it was really great school [?]. I met a lot of people, now I know much better for different aspects of the Russian life. But these 20 percent Russians, so-called thinking people, and this is future Russian elite. And if these 20 percent of Russian population, they really deserve the for the changes, that means in the nearest future, the majority of Russians will fight for the changes. That’s why, in this case, I am very optimistic. How do you view Nets two years in Newark, and can you see Newark being a team that could host an NBA team in the future? I want to thank, first of all, Newark, like all the Newark citizen, and the owners of the arena, they really are doing their best in order to just our team feel like home. But when we made our partnership, with my partner, Bruce, so it was guidlines to construct this beautiful arena and to move to Brooklyn. It was our strategic ideology. That’s why, of course, I know some people they are really very skeptical because they want us to stay. But life is life. So I think that we’ll do our best in order to invite all those people and to persuade them to join us here in Brooklyn. I think it will help, not only the Brooklyn community, but all of New York and all of New Jersey. It’s not against rules to discuss D-Will, because he’s under contract w/ your team. So I was wondering if you could elaborate on any convos you may have had with him, and whether or not you believe he’ll be perceptive to your powers of persuasion? I missed the name of the player.
Deron Williams? OK. [laughs] We met yesterday, we have I think a very good discussion. He really wants to win, and I want to win maybe even more. And we have just -- and really, I won’t go into details, but I think this stage we are on the same page. How confident are you that you can keep Deron and sign him to a max extension? I think he wants to win and he wants to be part of a great franchise, so we have the same view of this, and I can’t comment more. Just, it’s better to ask him what was the rest of our conversation. I mean what I’ve already mentioned. Now that the election is over, are you going to show up and be more involved? I love to pay attention to my team and it doesn’t matter if I’m in Moscow or here in New York, because I watch usually 80 percent of the games, I read stats for all the games and I have, like, a lot of conversation with my people with the team, so I think what is more important? It’s not what you see, it’s more important what is behind the scenes. It’s day-to-day routine and our strategic plans, and I’m very just committed and I am involved in the strategy process. So my job. So my job is to know that team has all the best that we can do, that is the most important. But of course, now I can be more often to visit and to see games live.

About Deron Williams, are you worried about Mark Cuban? Let the best man win. If he wins, I’ll crush him in the kickboxing throwdown.

Mr. Proky, in your visits what do you think of Brooklyn? So I think I read the article in the Daily News that said that every 9-out-of-10 Brooklynites quite happy for the arena for the team moving. And I feel that Brooklyn deserves a professional team since the time the Dodgers left in 1957. And of course I know there is some kind of skeptical criticism, and of course it’s impossible to make happy just everyone, but I hope as soon as we start our season, because it’s not only basketball, it’s a great cultural events to tennis and another opportunity to make this like center, the heart of Brooklyn. I think even those who are skeptical now will join us. So we’ll do our best, because for us the spirit of community is very important.

You planning to buy a place in Brooklyn? You know it’s just a great question for me, because the time being a rich Russian driving up the prices, so it’s not the best time to buy.

Posted: 4.11.12
DDDB.net en español.
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