The NBA is back in the Russia business. After not having a vice president for Russia and former Soviet states for a year, the league hired David Watts, a formerly of IMG, the big sports and entertainment agency, for the job.
And Mikhail Prokhorov tells Bloomberg News that he would like to take the Nets to Russia.
"We would actually love to see some regular-season games played in Russia, as we have currently in London," Prokhorov said by e-mail to Bloomberg on May 25. "That would be my dream." The native Muscovite has pledged to spread the team’s fan base globally.
London has been the preferred city for regular season games. The Nets played two games there in 2010-11, and the Knicks played a single game in the British capital last season. The NBA has not yet announced who will play at the O2 Arena next season.
Prokhorov has on occasion talked about his desire to have the Nets spend part of their training camp in Moscow. In 2010, the took the Nets on a round-the-world tour, practicing at CSKA Moscow's training facility and participating in a youth basketball festival before flying to Beijing and Shanghai for preseason games. No word on whether that will take place again at time soon.
"Several top members of the government who love basketball" are willing to help promote the game in Russia, said Prokhorov of a regular season contest in Russia.
NBA Bets on Billionaire Bounce as Prokhorov Backs Russia Push - Jake Rudnitsky - Bloomberg Business News