Mikhail Prokhorov leaving Russian politics for the Nets?! He says no.

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Mikhail Prokhorov reacted strongly Monday to reports that he is about to leave politics, stepping aside in frustration after the Kremlin has successfully thwarted his and his party's election bids both on the national and local level.

"I'm not going anywhere," he said. "I remain in politics, and we're continuing our work."

Some, including his campaign manager in the 2012, think he's already made a choice and chosen the Nets over Russian politics!

"Prokhorov has already left politics," Anton Krasovsky told Izvestia, the Kremlin-connected newspaper. "Choosing between his [Brooklyn Nets] basketball club in the U.S. and politics in Russia, he has opted for the former."

On Monday, Izvestia reported that Prokhorov had become frustrated and might abandon his Civic Platform party and his political career. After winning eight percent of the vote in the 2012 presidential election, Prokhorov formed Civic Platform and wanted to run for the Moscow City Duma (legislature) next year.

Then, the Vladimir Putin-backed mayor of Moscow shocked everyone by calling a mayoral election on short notice. Prokhorov wanted to run for mayor but a new law prohibiting candidates from holding foreign assets, like the Nets, scotched that deal. He told Izvestia last week he didn't have time to repatriate his assets so withdrew from the contest.

He said Monday he still planned to run for the Duma next year by which time the Nets will be a subsidiary of a Russian company.

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