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Mikhail Prokhorov will never change ... and why that's a good thing

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Alex Goodlett

As Larry Fleisher details in his XN Sports story on Mikhail Prokhorov's history as a Nets owner, no one should have been surprised by his comments on Jason Kidd or that studied and apparently well rehearsed line about Jason Kidd: "You know, I think there is a nice proverb in English; don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you."

In fact, that line may not make the Prokhorov Hall of Fame.  As Fleisher notes...

This is the same man that tweaked Jim Dolan with a billboard directly across the street from Madison Square that read the "Blueprint for Greatness". This is the same man who made veiled references to Phil Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy by saying this about P.J. Carlesimo taking over for Avery Johnson: "Now P.J. is the head coach and if it becomes necessary, you know who the usual suspects are."

He’s also the same man who commented on ending trade talks for Carmelo Anthony by saying: "Maybe he sent me an e-mail, but I don’t have a computer. Maybe the carrier pigeon got lost."

And in case, you forgot, "Carmelo" was pronounced "Carmella."

It's not as if Prokhorov has no filter. These are not off-the-cuff remarks. They all serve a purpose, with the overriding goal of giving the once downtrodden Nets a personality, some swag.  It got so bad (good?) that David Stern forced him and Dolan to sit down for peace talks in the summer of 2013.. Dolan had complained that the 6'9" Prokhorov had reportedly called him "that little man."

Of course, it's not just words. it's actions that define that swag. The giant billboard across from Dolan's office was the classic. So was cutting short his heli-skiing vacation in British Columbia to fly to San Antonio and welcome Deron Williams to the Nets. Not to mention the spending and resultant losses, which he dismissed on Monday as "not a big deal because I personally compensate this money from my pocket."

Prokhorov knows the New York media lap up his quips and that nothing is lost in translation, as Fleisher notes. The comments can also serve as a way to defer the hard questions, like about how worsening US-Russia relations might affect his ownership. But bottom line for him, the media and the fans is this: it's a lot of fun.