So what's all this fuss about on the Prokhorov-Ratner front? Take it from Forbes, the Nets are a $1.5 billion asset. That's not the Nets and Barclays Center. That's the team.
The Nets are 24th on the Forbes list of 50 Most Valuable Sports Franchises, tied with the Baltimore Ravens. In the NBA, Brooklyn ranks behind the Lakers (6th), Knicks (8th), Bulls (14th), Celtics (20th) and Clippers (22nd). And in New York, they're behind the Yankees (2nd), Giants (12th) and Jets (17th), BUT ahead of the Mets, who rank eight spots and $150 million below the Nets. At the top of the list: Real Madrid's soccer team, with a valuation of $3.26 billion.
According to Nets insiders, that $1.5 billion valuation is actually higher than the internal number for team value, which is $1.3 billion. Assuming the lower, internal number, that would mean the 20 percent share owned by Bruce Ratner and associated companies and partners would be worth around a quarter billion dollars. Ratner paid less for 100 percent of the team in 2004. Whether Ratner would get that amount is hard to predict.
Of course, the new valuation makes Mikhail Prokhorov's investment decision back in 2009 look even smarter. The Russian oligarch agreed to pay $223 million in cash, assume $160 million in debt and eat up to $60 million in operating costs in return for 80 percent of the team, 45 percent of the then-unbuilt Barclays Center and an option, since declined, to buy up to 20 percent of the overall Atlantic Yards project.