Mikhail Prokhorov: "Amusing curiosity" or "existential threat"

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Cathal Kelly, a columnist for the Toronto Star, uses a financial dispute over a European soccer star to highlight the craziness of sports spending, but spends most of his column on Mikhail Prokhorov's spending spree, focusing on how he could become a threat to the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement ... and ideal of league-wide parity.

Kelly writes of the Nets $186 million spending, "This is being treated as an amusing curiosity because no one believes the Nets can win anything. If they do, it’s going to become an existential threat."

"No one?" "Anything? We'll let that pass and move on to his main point, that if the Nets succeed, other owners will surely follow. An "arms race" will ensue! He writes...

"Prokhorov’s decision is irrational. He’s clearly happy to lose vast amounts with a winner. If that idea were to spread, the NBA is in danger of becoming an exhausting arms race between a few erratic super-powers, with all the businesspeople reduced to cannon fodder."

He asks, what happens if the next foreign owner is a Saudi prince who wants to make the Bobcats the best team in the world?

"Two or three Prokhorovs could completely rewire the NBA, long after the league thought it had headed this potential problem off with the cap. From the perspective of the trophy-hunting multi-billionaire, all the cap does is price the competition out of the market. In the end, the cap helps to rationalize your overspending."

All we care about is that that trophy he's hunting winds up at Barclays Center.

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