Mikhail Prokhorov was at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener on Monday night and he brought with him a message for former head coach Jason Kidd — “Don’t let the door hit you where the good lord split you.”
Prokhorov spoke with reporters for the first time since before the summer and touched on subjects from Jason Kidd to rumors that he could possibly sell the team.
“I think there is a nice English proverb, don’t let the door hit you where the good lord split you,” said Prokhorov when asked about Kidd’s departure. Prokhorov added that he felt that both sides did what was in their own best interests and that he likes where the Nets are at with new and experienced coach Lionel Hollins.
The Russian owner did not joke around when reporters asked him if he was selling the team, but did admit that he’s willing to listen to offers to sell minority shares where he wouldn’t give up control of the team.
“I will not give up control of the team,” he said. “The market cap of the NBA teams have skyrocketed. If you look at the market cap, I think my investment like minimum fives times, six times now, more times than I spent. So I had a nice get.”
Prokhorov mentioned that the team’s decision not to re-sign Paul Pierce was about making the team more balanced, but added that he did not consider it a mistake to trade for Pierce more than a year ago.
“You need to keep this balance all the time to have an opportunity to win every year,” he said. “For me it was important to invest some money to make the team better and to invest some money in the Brooklyn Nets brand. As soon as we moved to New York [from New Jersey] it was a great leap for us, but of course you have to invest to be one of the top teams in the NBA.”
He was also asked about a Forbes report that stated that the Nets lost $144 million of basketball operations money last season. Prokhorov brushed off the loss as part of doing business and insisted that the team’s finances are doing just fine and said, “it’s not a big deal.” Prokhorov also makes money off of the arena as well as local and national TV deals.