What He Say? Prokhorov-Dolan in Controversy Over "Little Man" Line

NEW YORK - MAY 19: New Jersey Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov addresses the media during a press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel on May 19, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Did Mikhail Prokhorov call James Dolan "that little man" in an interview for the New York Magazine article on the Nets' move to Brooklyn? According to author Will Leitch, he did ... three times.

In both the magazine article and supplementary online notes, Will Leitch says Prokhorov clearly tried to diminish the Knicks owner. "Prokhorov told me back in December that he plans on attending a quarter of the regular-season games and 'all the playoff ones.' He also made sure that I heard him call Dolan 'that little man'," wrote in the online notes.

Nets officials have quietly tried to downplay the controversy, essentially saying it was all lost in translation. Leitch does note of Prokhorov, "His English is spotty, and he talks really fast, and we were on an iPhone, so large swaths of the interview were unusable." However, Leitch emphasized re the Dolan quote, "The guy knows what he's doing."

While the Nets would like to see this go away -- it's not the sort of thing owners say-- by Tuesday morning, the story was the lead item on ESPN's NBA page.

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