Players and beat writers knew Mikhail Prokhorov was dropping by Duke Wednesday morning, but unlike previous drop-by's, this wasn't a meet-and-greet between owners and players. Oh no. This being Mikhail Prokhorov and the wild and crazy Russian ownership, you should expect the unexpected.
After watching a scrimmage from the bench, Prokhorov and his trainer (assisted by his P.R. woman, Ellen Pinchuk!) had the 20 Nets sit in a semi-circle as he sat near the baseline and started handling some soccer-sized balls in strange and wonderful ways. It was Tescao, Tibetan Martial Arts! Of course, it was. The Nets billionaire owner is a huge fan, has a "crazy gym" back at his home outside Moscow.
Quincy Miller, who sat up front in class, didn't anticipate getting called on by the teacher...
Some, like Sarah Kustok, did well, or well enough.
Others, that would be you, Jarrett Jack, took a while to get the hang of it.
Some even sought extra help after class.
At the session's end, Lionel Hollins said Prokhorov could do the Dos Equis commercials, you know the ones featuring the "Most Interesting Man in the World." Um, Lionel, you're a little bit behind.
Meanwhile, Prokhorov had this to say about his coach. "I like him a lot, because I like people who know what they want to reach the result. Lionel definitely does that."
Prokhorov added that while the Nets are under the luxury tax now, he'd have no problem going far above it again – for the right opportunity.
On basketball questions, Prokhorov said that the Nets had a great foundation in Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez. Thaddeus Young and a great leader in Jarrett Jack. He also called Lopez the best center in the NBA. As for the question of whether he's a buyer or a seller, he once again said he has no intention of selling a controlling interest.
He remains optimistic about the Nets future.
"You see, I don't want us to be in the mindset of focusing on the next summer," he said. "I think we have a great opportunity to have good results this year in the East. We have a plan to search for opportunities and really I don't have to you tell guys about that. So our task for next season is that we will surprises our doubters."
We'll have more later. NetsDaily had a camera crew on hand. As Tim Bontemps tweeted...
This isn't quite what I expected to see at practice today, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it.— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) September 30, 2015
- Prokhorov reiterates he's not selling the Nets - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Brooklyn Nets’ Mikhail Prokhorov shows off his dribbling skills - Sports Illustrated