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Russian tycoon Prokhorov says never intended selling his NBA club Brooklyn Nets

April 09, 2015, 20:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to a recent Forbes report, the Russian billionaire was allegedly seeking a $3 billion evaluation of his basketball club and the Barclays Center
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Mikhail Prokhorov

Mikhail Prokhorov

© Ilya Pitalyov/TASS

MOSCOW, April 9. /TASS/. Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov said he had no intentions of selling his US National Basketball Association’s (NBA) club Brooklyn Nets despite earlier media reports, NetsDaily.com reported on Thursday.

According to a recent Forbes report, the Russian billionaire was allegedly seeking a $3 billion evaluation of his basketball club and the Barclays Center, but Prokhorov rejected the report at a Wednesday news conference held at the Nets’ home stadium saying that he only mulled selling a minority stake.

Prokhorov added that he had already received about 10 different proposals concerning the sale of the minority stake, but none of them were imminent at the time being.

"For the time being, nothing is on the table, and as soon as we hear of any changes in capital structure, we will announce it in a very open way as we usually do," he said addressing the news conference in New York.

Media reports about Prokhorov’s alleged intentions to sell the basketball club were also fueled by the fact that the Russian tycoon was last present at his team’s game in early November before appearing in front of media last night.

"Maybe you have heard, but we have had some volatile years in Russian economy, and Russian business," ESPN quoted Prokhorov as saying at the news conference. "So sanctions were imposed ... and these sanctions, they have created challenges for businessmen in Russia ... and I needed to be more [involved in the handling and] managing my business and my assets, so it was very busy. Now, everything is under control. That's why I hope to see you more in the playoffs."

The Russian billionaire was present only at three games of his club this season and announced that he would definitely be at the Nets’ Friday encounter with Washington Wizards.

Russian billionaire and former presidential candidate Prokhorov, 49, bought the then New Jersey Nets in 2010 for $200 million and later relocated the club to Brooklyn, which has a large Russian population. He owns 80% of the Brooklyn Nets and 45% of Barclays Center.

Brooklyn Nets started the 2013/2014 season with a poor performance but managed to come back and finished it in the 6th in its Eastern Conference standings with 44 wins and 38 defeats. The club finished the 2012/2013 season with a record of 49 wins and 33 defeats, the second-best record in the Atlantic Division.

This season the Nets are boasting the record of 36 won and 42 lost matches and still keep fighting for the spot in the playoffs.

According to an earlier report from The New York Daily News, bachelor Prokhorov pledged that the team would win the NBA championship by 2015 or he would punish himself by getting married.

NetsDaily.com reported that when Prokhorov was pressed by one of the reporters during Wednesday’s news conference about the amount of money he lost over the last five years after buying the NBA club, the Russian tycoon responded "You like counting other people's money?".

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