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Get On Board Mr. Prokhorov's Wild Ride

Mikhail Prokhorov
Mikhail Prokhorov

As Winston Churchill once famously said, Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Ditto for Mikhail Prokhorov, say NBA executives. 

Al Iannazzone's story that Prokhorov is prepared to offer $12 to $15 million to Mike Krzyzewski served as a wake-up call to a lot of people, including NBA executives.  Three of them spoke anonymously to Dave D'Alessandro.  There's no unanimity on what to think.  So, Dave D. writes, Prokhorov "has succeeded in confusing the opposition."  The big issue, at least for now, is that Prokhorov may spend wildly on his coach just when David Stern is counseling frugality. 

"I don’t think they have anything remotely close to a strategy" said one exec, "but I know this much: If it’s not Rod Thorn who’s formulating it, they already have problems."

Not so, said another. "I think it’s (Prokhorov’s) business. It’s the kind of splash they should make. This isn’t about what the rest of the league thinks."

Bottom line, though, is that this strategy, of creating a continuing and often jaw-dropping buzz, appears to be coming out of Moscow, not East Rutherford. Specifically, suggests D'Alessandro, from the fertile mind of Andrei Vatutin, the man tapped to be Prokhorov's guy inside the Nets' front office and possibly the team's next GM. 

They may be Russians, but they aren't rubes.