Thursday, October 28, 2010

Who Is Mikhail Prokhorov? - IN THE FOOTPRINT

For those of you who came to LET ME ASCERTAIN YOU: ATLANTIC YARDS, you know that Mikhail Prokhorov owns a controlling share in the New Jersey Nets (soon to be re-named) and that he is six feet, eight inches tall. He was recently named New York's Best Oligarch by the Village Voice. Let's get to know our 45-year-old Russian billionaire a little better, shall we?

According to a New York Times feature about him that came out today, he put $200 million towards 80 percent of the franchise and 45 percent of the long-delayed Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn, where the Nets will play beginning in 2012. Prokhorov also agreed to cover some $60 million in operational costs and 80 percent of $207 million in debt. He says for the article, "Money doesn’t drive me... New ideas, the feeling of team spirit, mean more. To create a team better than any other, that’s what drives me. To find the idea is one thing; to realize the idea is another."
Lots more info about him in the article HERE.

HERE is a video tour of his Moscow home (described in the NY Times article), a web extra connected to the feature story about him on 60 Minutes.

One of our interviewees said of him: "Prokhorov is, made his money, in the nickel mining industry. He made a ton of money, built a big company with another partner. In whatever year it was, 2006-2007, there’s a whole hooker scandal in France, where he brings in hookers and is arrested and incarcerated for 4 days, until the charges are dismissed and he’s let go. After that, his partner and the Kremlin force him to sell his interest in this big international nickel consortium. He does. He cashes out. That looks like it’s the end of him as a Russian oligarch and then all of the sudden, the market crashes, he’s got tons more money than all the others because he had cashed out. He’s a- he’s a guy who’s 6’9”, he played basketball in grade school, this idea that he played in high school, you know, some player who never really quite made it isn’t really true. He’s not as athletic as he wants people to think. He’s more of a kick-boxer, exerciser, pilates guy, than he’s a basketball player."

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