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Prokhorov Willing to Spend...A LOT

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NEW YORK - MAY 19:  New Jersey Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov addresses the media during a press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel on May 19, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MAY 19: New Jersey Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov addresses the media during a press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel on May 19, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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Mikhail Prokhorov had a good day Thursday. According to the Forbes Real Time Billionaire Tracker, he made $26.37 million or almost enough to pay for Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace's salaries next season...in a day! Its that kind of wealth and the willingness to spend it that separates Prokhorov from most NBA owners ... and those who previously controlled the Nets.

As Stefan Bondy writes Friday, the Nets moves already accomplished this week, plus the hoped-for acquisition of Dwight Howard would put his luxury tax bill for the next five years at $107.5 million. That's what excited Nets fans about Prokhorov when he became the richest owner in sports in 2010. This week, that commitment is fully on display, but it didn't just start this week.

As Bondy writes, "None of this would be possible without Prokhorov: not the $1 billion arena nearly complete in Brooklyn, not the trading for Joe Johnson’s supposedly untradeable contract, and not the continued chase for Howard while approaching cap hell." All of this has concerned salary cap weenies and Mark Cuban, but not Avery Johnson. "When he first bought the team, he said he would do whatever it took to build a championship team."