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Mikhail Prokhorov: Same to you, pal

Bruce Bennett

Lost in the post-game discussion of crowd noise and killer instinct was Mikhail Prokhorov's comments to Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.  Prokhorov, who unlike last year, didn't speak to the crowd or hold a press availability, did comment to Mazzeo after the game on Masai Ujiri's "F__ Brooklyn" comment at last Sunday's pep rally in Toronto.

Although Prokhorov was born in Moscow, his comment was pure Brooklyn, essentially telling Ujiri, "same to you pal."

"I think maybe the best [response] is to say the same for Brooklyn's fans," Prokhorov told ESPN NewYork. "And we'll see if they have an answer."

Prokhorov arrived in New York at 5 a.m. Friday along with Dmitry Razumov, his No. 2 --and Billy King's main contact in Moscow; Christophe Charlier, his No. 3 and Nets chairman, and Sergei Kushchenko, his chief sports adviser and a member of the Nets board of directors.

The Russian oligarch was shown on YES breathing a sigh of relief in the owner's suite as the buzzer sounded.

"It's victory. It's very important," he told Mazzeo who was apparently the only writer in the arena to talk with him. With US-Russian relations in a crisis over Ukraine, Prokhorov may have wanted to avoid questions on geopolitics. His sister, Irina, has been outspoken regarding new laws she and other Russian intellectuals and academics believe have the effect of stifling dissent.