On Russian radio, Mikhail Prokhorov preaches patience

NetsDaily/GMJigga

After his team's loss to the Lakers, MIkhail Prokhorov got on Moscow radio Wednesday morning to say it will take time for the Nets of gel ... and to talk with pride about being the first foreigner to own an NBA team.

In a radio interview in Moscow early Wednesday morning, Mikhail Prokhorov preached patience following the Nets loss to the Lakers.

"We have a completely new team, very few older players, so of course, it takes time to play together," Prokhorov told Russian radio station Echo Moskvy. He also reiterated that if the team reaches the conference finals this season he will consider it a success.

Prokhorov also talked about the pride he still feels in being the first foreign owner in the NBA. Noting that he won two Euroleague championships as owner of CSKA Moscow, he thought the NBA was the natural next step.

At a certain point you start to realize you’ve hit a wall. Where is the most competitive market? It’s the NBA. And no one (from the outside) had been allowed in there ever. I’m really proud that I’m the first foreigner and representative of Russia who could become part of the most competitive league in the world. And what is happening? We have access to and are carefully looking at basketball practices and techniques, and we’re now drawing our conclusions and want to introduce them into our leagues.

He also said the experience he and his Russian team has acquired in building Barclays Center will help his native land in the development of larger arenas.

It’s business, and also I now have access to the technology of building state-of-the-art arenas and how to make them profitable. The problem with many of our (Russian) arenas is that we’ve built them and then look to the state budget to maintain them.

Prokhorov also noted that "the best student managers and young players" in Russia will come to NBA camps in the United States his summer. Prokhorov has in the past said he hopes to have the Nets spend part of a training camp in Russia and eventually play regular season games in his homeland.

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Here's the transcript of the interview as it relates to basketball...courtesy of Mikhailov & Partners, Prokhorov's public relations firm...

On the Nets...

"We have a completely new team, very few older players, so of course, it takes time to play together,"

Why did you buy a team there and not here?

"For more than 10 years, I was the owner of CSKA and we won everything possible. We played in many finals and won the Euroleague twice. At a certain point you start to realize you’ve hit a wall. Where is the most competitive market? It’s the NBA. And no one (from the outside) had been allowed in there ever. I’m really proud that I’m the first foreigner and representative of Russia who could become part of the most competitive league in the world. And what is happening? We have access to and are carefully looking at basketball practices and techniques, and we’re now drawing our conclusions and want to introduce them into our leagues."

But that’s also not just a sports project, it’s business too, right?

"It’s business, and also I now have access to the technology of building state-of-the-art arenas and how to make them profitable. The problem with many of our (Russian) arenas is that we’ve built them and then look to the state budget to maintain them."

They’re not managed effectively?

"That’s exactly right. So, knowing how to use an arena not just for sports but to attract other cultural events, that’s the kind of know-how we are getting and it will be of great use for our country in the future."

It needs to be considered from the construction stage. Our engineers rarely think about how a building will be used during the construction phase?

"Of course. And especially how the technical specifications are described. This is very important. How to build an arena that people will go to, and that will be not only a center for sports but a center of culture in the broadest sense of the word. This is a very interesting opportunity. And if we are behind in something – and we have obviously fallen behind the Americans in basketball – we should be ashamed to say so. We should gain access to best practices, introduce them starting with children’s and youth basketball and, little by little, we’ll start to see players coming up who can compete at that level. "

"Moreover, in the summer we’ll be bringing the best student managers and young players to the United States for summer camps with the NBA. The result will be the enrichment of basketball culture, which I think will be very, very positive for our country. The world is global. We should not look at ourselves as just a small court in our backyard. If we think like a big power."

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