Over the weekend, it was reported that Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov was listening to offers for his team. Once this news came out, Prokhorov was very quick in shooting them down, releasing a statement through a spokesperson on Saturday stating there was no interest at all in selling the team.
All of this, of course, has been fueled by the $2 billion price tag for the Clippers. In January, Forbes valued the Nets at $780 million, which ranked them fifth-highest in the league. In that same valuation, the Clippers were 13th, coming in at $575 million. So, you can understand, at the very least, why Prokhorov would at least be interested in gauging the value of his team, if only to feel better about his very expensive toy.
The circumstances surrounding the Los Angeles Clippers sale, however, were extraordinary given the rushed timetable and potential buyer. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who is set to become the team’s new owner, long coveted an NBA franchise before and had the cash on hand to pay a premium to join the ownership club.
Aside from the financial windfall, there are also other factors at play. Prokhorov has poured a lot of money into this team, and has yet to reap the rewards of his investment. The Nets lost in the first round of the playoffs two years ago and this season almost missed the playoffs altogether before they rebounded to beat the Raptors in the first round and fell to the Heat in the conference semis. Whether they’re realistic or not, Prokhorov believes he has assembled a roster capable of challenging the Heat in the East and can compete for the title. He’s not deviating from that goal just yet.
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