Mikhail Prokhorov leaving business for politics, but will remain principal owner of Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn Nets/Adam Pantozzi

Mikhail Prokhorov said Saturday that he will be leaving business for good to focus on Russian politics, reiterating a stance he took earlier this year when he ran for president of Russia. The decision will not affect his ownership of the Nets. He will remain the principal owner of the team.

"This does not affect his ownership of any assets, including the Brooklyn Nets," Pinchuk wrote in an e-mail to Stefan Bondy. "The current managerial group that makes the day-to-day decisions for the team will continue to do so. MIkhail will continue to show his support for the Brooklyn Nets in every way, both as an owner and a fan."

Prokhorov appeared Saturday at the first conference of Civic Platform, the party he set up several months ago, announcing that he would put his money in a trust fund and let his partners at the investment vehicle ONEXIM, his investment vehicle run the shop. He is listed officially on the ONEXIM website as "founder."

ONEXIM's top two officials, CEO Dmitry Razumov and Deputy CEO Christophe Charlier, are heavily involved in running the Nets. Razumov, 39, is the Nets contact on basketball operations. He was part of discussions on the draft and free agency. Charlier, 40, is chairman of the board of the Nets. His responsibilities include the business side of the franchise. In addition, Irina Pavlova is president of the New York-based ONEXIM Sports and Entertainment Holdings, the entity that controls Prokhorov's investment in the Nets and Barclays Center.

Prokhorov told reporters after the conference that he wants to lead "a third power" in the country, competing both with the Kremlin and the opposition. He has been criticized of late for not being aggressive in criticizing President Vladimir Putin's crackdown on dissent in Russia.

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