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No more championship deadlines for Mikhail Prokhorov

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

In an interview with GQ, aka Gentleman's Quarterly, Mikhail Prokhorov will not predict when his team will win the NBA championship.  No more Soviet-style five-year plans.

Asked "How many more years before you bring an NBA Championship to Brooklyn?", Prokhorov responded, "The sooner the better. Beyond that, it really depends on us staying healthy and the chemistry of the team, which we’ll soon see."

That's a far cry --and probably a welcome one considering the team's recent history-- from his 2010 promise that if the Nets didn't win a title in five years, he'd marry, a promise he later said was made in jest.  GQ didn't forget it, though, asking if he was in a wedding planning mood.

"I’ll rely on the standard line we use in business: No deal is imminent!" he said. It's all part of GQ's series, "How to be a successful billionaire."  (Isn't having a billion dollars a success enough?)

Prokhorov also eschewed questions of whether he would beat Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama in a game of hoops, opting instead for a diplomatic solution: he'd like to host the two in Brooklyn.

"I would prefer to have both of them join me in my box rooting for the same team, the Brooklyn Nets. That’s kind of a dream of mine.

Prokhorov also likes the physical comparisons to Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer but admits " Sadly, American football is a total mystery to me:" says he spends a lot more time on Tibetan Martial Arts than his basketball game: and that he loves the personal, rather than the professional challenge. "It’s always about the personal challenge, because even beating a competitor comes down to me, not him." (Hello Jim Dolan?)

Favorite NBA player? "Larry Bird has a special place for me. In Soviet times we used to watch video of the Celtics and be in total amazement. I have to admit that when I met Larry after I’d just bought the Nets, it was a real moment for me. Brought a lot of things full circle."