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"Imagine Being First Foreign Owner To Win An NBA Championship!"

Brooklyn Nets/Adam Pantozzi
Brooklyn Nets/Adam Pantozzi

In an interview with Russian television at the Barclays Center ribbon-cutting, Mikhail Prokhorov talked basketball and politics, saying he was "pleased" by the arena and "very proud" to represent Russia in the NBA.

More than that, Prokhorov said he is looking forward to a personal aspect of the Nets first NBA championship, which he predicted by 2015.

Prokhorov told Evgeny Popov of Rossiya 1: "When Russian business goes abroad and is successful, it is a powerful business card for our country. I am very proud that I represent in the NBA Russia. Can you imagine what a sensation it will be when first foreigner to own an NBA team wins the championship! "

The Nets owner admitted he bought low when he took over the Nets in 2010 --"when I came into the NBA, I took the weakest team"-- but now sees the Nets as among the strongest. He also spoke of his reception in Brooklyn. "Here, walking down the street, I was stopped by the common people, hot dog vendors, who greet me and shout: 'Nets!' Before the presidential election, I was much more popular in New York, I learned, than in Moscow!"