When Mikhail Prokhorov decided in late 2009 that he was going buy into the Nets, he assigned one of his top aides, Chris Charlier, to make it happen. He, Milton Lee, Dmitry Razumov and later Irina Pavlova put it all together and Charlier became Nets chairman. He handled everything from negotiating with Bruce Ratner to shepherding the production of "Brooklyn: Something to Lean On," the team's official theme song.
Now, still a member of the Nets and Barclays Center boards, Charlier is expanding his repertoire into films. He's one of the producers on "Race," the story of how Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics as Adolph Hitler watched. As the New York Times film critic Stephen Holder wrote last week, ""Race" reminds us that long before television elevated black sports heroes into gods, there were athletes like Jesse Owens who paved the way."
The connection between race and sports was not lost on the Nets board member when he was approached about joining the project.
"As the Chairman of the Brooklyn Nets at the time, I was immediately interested to participate in the production of a film about one of the all-time great athletes," said Charlier, who was on hand for the HSS Center opening last week. "I was also particularly drawn by the many sub-contexts of the story, issues that, unfortunately, we are still facing today."