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Nets approached CSKA's GM, coach about jobs in Prokhorov era

Andrei Vatutin, president CSKA Basketball
Andrei Vatutin, president CSKA Basketball
Andrey Godyaykin / Boshoi Sports - Wiki Common

David Pick, the European hoops writer, reports that both the head coach and president of CSKA Moscow were approached about jobs by the Nets in the Prokhorov era, both in assistant jobs. CSKA was owned by Mikhail Prokhorov for a decade, winning two Euroleague championships.

Dmitry Itoudis, the coach, told Pick, writing for Bleacher Report, that the Nets had interest in him at one point, presumably as an assistant, "but it didn't work out." Pick added that Itoudis has even filed scouting and draft reports for the Nets. Itoudis, whose helped out other NBA teams in the summer league, led CSKA to a Russian championship and the Euroleague Final Four.   He's 44.

His boss, CSKA president Andrey Vatututin, actually was pursued by Prokhorov and Dmitry Razumov in 2010 when the Russians bought the Nets.  The idea was that Vatututin would be Prokhorov's person in basketball operations as assistant GM of the Nets ... and help fulfill Prokhorov's promise to use the Nets to develop Russian basketball.

"Prokhorov invited me to the NBA to become an assistant GM for the Nets," Vatutin told Pick. "Why didn't I accept?"

"It was difficult to leave CSKA, but I don't have dreams of working in the NBA," Vatutin continued. "The NBA isn't something I think about, and I don't regret not going.  Maybe I'll just buy the Nets from Prokhorov."

The job went to Milton Lee, who later became GM of the Springfield Armor.