Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov has reached an agreement with real estate developer Bruce Ratner’s Forest City Enterprises Inc. that will give Prokhorov sole ownership of the Brooklyn Nets. Currently, the NBA is reviewing the deal, according to Bloomberg. The terms of the deal are unknown as of right now.
Prior to the deal, Prokhorov owned 80 percent of the NBA team and 45 percent of the Brooklyn arena, which opened in 2012. Ratner’s Forest City Enterprises Inc. owned the remaining 20 percentIf Prokhorov gains full control of the NBA team, it will be easier for him to sell all or part of the Brooklyn Nets.
As of Tuesday, Dec.1st the Brooklyn Nets rank 14th in the Eastern Conference. The team is not having a good start to the season. The Nets has won five of the 18 games played in regular season. The wins include a defeat over the Houston Rockets, Atlanta Falcon, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and the Phoenix Sun.
Earlier in the fall, Prokhorov stopped by the Nets’ practice, which took place at Duke University, were he showed off his intense training regimen. After observing his team practice that morning, the Russian billionaire assembled the players on one of the practice courts and proceeded to demonstrate a variety of martial arts exercises using volleyballs, tennis balls, boards and sticks. He then had the players give each exercise a try. Some unusual exercises included doing push-ups while balancing on four volleyballs, doing push-ups on a volleyball with a stick, and bouncing a volleyball off the floor with one hand while bouncing a tennis ball on a board with the other.
According to the New York Post, Prokhorov said, “I think my preference was to come personally, and to say hello to the players and to the coaches. I think it’s very important for the new team to have special team building, and of course the commitment of ownership as part of the team.”
It was his first time visiting the team, since acquiring it in 2010.