In a wide-ranging discussion that aired Monday night, Mikhail Prokhorov, his sister Irina, Bruce Ratner and Brooklyn Academy of Music President Karen Brooks Hopkins talked about the Nets, Brooklyn and culture with PBS's Charlie Rose.
The Nets' two owners talked a lot about how they met and meshed in 2009, first with a meeting at Prokhorov's Moscow home in July. Ratner admits that, without Prokhorov, the Nets move to Brooklyn wouldn't have happened, although he didn't say what would. Prokhorov agreed to buy 80 percent of the team and 45 percent of the arena in September 2009
"When I met this guy, I knew I was there," said Ratner, who sold 80 percent of the team to Prokhorov. "Without Mikhail coming in, I dont know think we could have done it." For his part, Prokhorov said that had wanted to be an NBA owner and the Nets intrigued him. "Sometimes you know it's in the air. We became partners from our first meeting."
Prokhorov once again said that if the Nets don't win a championship by 2015, "I will punish myself by getting married." He admitted that he was surprised by the reception he received on buying the Nets. "I was surprised that people were friendly, very open-minded, so I feel really surprised."
When asked if he still wanted to be president of Russia, Prokhorov declined to answer and instead talked about his new political party, Civic Platform, and the declining relations between Russia and the U.S., something he attributed to a lack of business ties and his sister blamed on a lack of cultural exchange. She also said she hopes Prokhorov's grant to BAM will "unite sport and culture" and said she considers "sports as a new art."
Charlie Rose and Mikhail Prokhorov (Video) - Charlie Rose