During tonight's Brooklyn Nets-Miami Heat game, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov sat down for an interview with YES Network's Sarah Kustok. Here's the transcript...
Mikhail Prokhorov: I felt like a big kid in the candy store, and I think that a lot of fans with me also to that candy store because there is a lot of excitement with what we did.
Sarah Kustok: Can you first take us back to the summer? What went through your mind when you were first presented with the idea of Jason Kidd being a possible head coaching candidate?
MP: I opposed, and then, a little light bulb went on and said "What an amazing idea," because I have been thinking about someone which could be much more different from the traditional point of coach, just with his own visions of the game. We need somebody really very tough with great desire to win because, you know, in the NBA, there are players that will have maybe nine broken fingers out of ten who will still be fighting, so Jason Kidd is one of these guys. That is what we need.
SK: As you've described, such a special player, especially a great Net. Now that he's here, can you really get a feel for what he's meant to this franchise?
MP: Uh, yeah absolutely because he's a real legend. Two times to the Finals with the Nets, so many records. But trust me, he's not done yet. (smiles)
SK: (laughs) We like that. What was your reaction when the Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce trade was presented to you?
MP: Hell yes! (laughs)
SK: What did you know about them as players? What were your thoughts about them as players?
MP: Just, you know, I heard New York audience they know very good our players now. So, like, it's a great fight between two New York teams. And I think it's coming, a new Golden Age era of New York basketball. So, I'm just, I'm very, very glad for all the fans. For the Nets and for the Knicks. Trulygreat rivalry.
SK: Was the fact that these moves would put you so far over the luxury tax ever a concern for you?
MP: (shaking head) Heck no. (laughs)
SK: For you, why is pursuing a Championship so very important?
MP: Then what I am doing here? So, because I don't go halfway on anything. I'll go to the end. I'll go all the way.
SK: Why did you put a five year timetable on it when you first got here?
MP: You know, it was based on the Five Year Plan of Vladimir Lenin. But, it didn't work good in the Soviet economy, and I hope it will work much better here.
SK: What is your response to fans or the media who have had criticisms, saying "You can't buy a team."
MP: Just, I agree 100 percent. It's just impossible to buy a team because if you want to be a real Champion, you need a combination of factors. Of course money, plus you need to have the best people on court and out of court. You need to have a passion. You need to have team spirit. And of course you need tremendous work to do.
SK: Another big move was the signing of Andrei Kirilenko. Did it bother you at all that the owners had the league investigate that signing?
MP: Not at all when the result could be easy to bet. We played by rule, and NBA confirmed this, so we can sleep safely all night now.
SK: (laughs) What does it mean to you to have the greatest Russian player to ever play in the NBA on your team?
MP: Just, you know, I lived in Russia all my life. And, just I'm proud. from my time in Russia, and I know Andrew when he was a rookie player, just a kid, on my Moscow team. And for me, it was a great excitement to see what he has achieved. And I'm sure he could achieve much more, and he is as hungry as myself in order to win Championship. So, I'm very lucky he is a member of the Nets, and I think it's great to celebrate that we came together.
SK: Mr. Prokhorov, what's your message to fans, not just locally here in Brooklyn, but around the globe?
MP: Uh, I think, I want to thank them very much for their faith in us. And for support of the fans, for us, it's very, very important. And maybe secondly, I want to say we're Aiming and Amazing. It's my new catchphrase, and I work it.
- Prokhorov talks expectations (Video) - Sarah Kustok - YES Network
- Mikhail Prokhorov Brooklyn Nets 'We're aiming for amazing' - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Mikhail Prokhorov: 'I don't go halfway in anything' - Rod Boone - Newsday