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NBA will permit Nets to be owned by Russian company

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Bruce Bennett

The Wall Street Journal reports that the NBA will permit Mikhail Prokhorov to move his ownership interest in the Nets to a Russian company so that Prokhorov can comply with a new election law prohibiting political candidates from owning any overseas assets. The law, which Prokhorov called a "trick," seems to be aimed at keeping billionaires like him from running for office.

"I received permission from the NBA to transfer the company that owns the Brooklyn Nets to a Russian company," Prokhorov told a Moscow news conference Thursday, where he announced that he doesn’t plan to run in the city’s mayoral election in early September. "There are no problems with it. They agreed."

"We are aware of the Russian election laws and are working with Mr. Prokhorov to resolve any conflicts should he choose to run for future office," an NBA spokesman told the Wall Street Journal. Prokhorov remains the principal owner of the team.

The move, which is not expected to impact the Nets operations, will mean the 80 percent of the team owned by Prokhorov will no longer be held by ONEXIM Sports and Entertainment Holdings USA, a Delaware company, but by a Russian entity.