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Mikhail Prokhorov hopes Nets, culture leads to better US-Russian relations

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Mikhail Prokhorov

Mikhail Prokhorov and his sister are back in Moscow. They and the rest of Team Prokhorov are expected back in New York for the Nets home opener November 1. Tim Bontemps writes Wednesday about a different aspect of Prokhorov's ownership of the team --and his foundation's contribution to the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Prokhorov wants both to help bridge the growing gap in US-Russian relations.

"For me, it’s very sad to see the U.S. relationship [with Russia] is getting worse and worse all the time. What is the reason? Because we have a lack of cultural, business and, before, sports," Prokhorov said, referencing the Nets. "We have a lot in common … we’re countries with big territory, multi-national, and a very good level of culture."

The night before the Jay-Z concert, which he and his sister, Irina, attended, their fund provided a $1 million gift to BAM to establish a cultural bridge between Brooklyn in New York and Krasnoyarsk in Siberia, where a lot of Prokhorov's mining interests lie. "I quite support the idea that sports is a new type of art," Irina Prokhorova told Bontemps. "That’s why sports and traditional arts are intertwined. I think it’s very logical that he supports both events."