Russian basketballers will soon be defending the colors of the Brooklyn Nets, owner Mikhail Prokhorov said after the opening ceremony of his team’s new arena – the Barclays Center.
“I’m thinking about recruiting Russian players to our lineup in the nearest future,” Prokhorov told ITAR-TASS news agency. “I really want this to happen.”
Russia’s richest man refused to mention any specific names as that is forbidden by NBA regulations.
"When I bought the team [in May 2010], I made a commitment to win the championship in five years,” the 47-year-old said. “We have three years remaining."
"The guys mean business. They are tired of losing and want to win. Now we have a squad which will make a good basis for the champions’ team. We’ll certainly be fighting in the playoffs this season,” he added.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg cut the ribbon together with Prokhorov at the opening of the Barclays Center, which cost around $1 billion.
The Brooklyn Nets will debut at their new arena on November 1 as they take on their neighbors from the New York Knicks.
Meanwhile, it’s Minnesota which boasts the biggest Russian presence in the NBA, after the Timberwolves recruited Andrey Kirilenko and Aleksey Shved from CSKA Moscow this summer.