With political tensions rising between the United States and Russia, it appears that the Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov will officially relocate the team to Russia.
“A Russian company will own the basketball club,” Prokhorov told Reuters. “This (move) does not violate any NBA (U.S. National Basketball Association) rules and I will bring it (under Russian jurisdiction) in accordance with Russian law.”
The United States has imposed visa bans and asset freezes on officials and businessmen close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. As a result, Putin has asked Russians operating businesses outside of the country to repatriate their assets to help offset economic penalties.
Prokhorov has expressed a desire to return the Nets’ parent company back to Russia in the past, but with the tensions it makes sense for him to do it more quickly. The NBA has not been notified of any changes at this point though and would not say if it supported or opposed such a move. Prokhorov himself has not been subject to any sanctions and has been a political opponent of Putin in the past.