With NBA approval 48 hours away, anticipation is building...not just among Nets fans. Al Iannazzone talks to NBA execs, a veteran agent and Europeans who worked for and competed against Mikhail Prokhorov. From an agent: "The buzz he’s created among the players and everyone, he’s going to have a huge impact ... maybe as big of an impact as anyone has ever had."
Courtney Lee has delivered his last pizza. "They’re going to be one of the best organizations in the league," an unnamed NBA executive said. A named executive, the Raptors' Maurizio Gherardini, worked for a CSKA Moscow rival and was even considered a possible successor to Rod Thorn. He says simply, "He did CSKA the right way. There is no doubt he will do everything it takes to be successful."
He knows how to woo a coach too. His coach at CSKA, Ettore Messina, led Prokhorov's team to two Euroleague championships and a Finals appearance in his last three years in Moscow. "I asked him something once, and he said, ‘Look, I select my people and then it’s your responsibility to run the business.’ He’s a person who never interfered... There also will be a plan."