Last week, New Jersey Nets owner MIkhail Prokhorov arrived from Russia and reinforced what we already knew: he has quite a way with words. After weeks of endless rumors and negotiating, the billionaire broke the news to the Denver Nuggets (and the rest of the sports world) at a press conference that the Nets would no longer be pursuing Carmelo Anthony.
On the heels of that incredible press conference, it seemed like as good a time as ever to review Prokhorov's best quotes since the NBA approved his purchase of the Nets in May.
5. "The way is very simple, the way to success. We're going to turn Knicks fan into Nets fan. That's it."
With that very simple line, Prokhorov introduced himself to the NBA world. If there was any question during the purchasing process of what kind of owner he would be, that would put to bed quickly.
Ultimately he will be judged by wins and losses, but Prokhorov arrived and immediately kicked away the idea that the New Jersey (Brooklyn) Nets would continue to play second fiddle to the mighty New York Knicks.
4. "I've never lost my cool. Even in love affairs. If you have Plan B and Plan C, you are all the time relaxed."
Strike out on LeBron James, Amar'e Stoudemire, Chris Bosh and the rest of the free agent class of 2010? That was never going to force a panic move like trying to over pay a Rudy Gay or Joe Johnson. Now that the Nets are moving on from Anthony, there will be no rushing out and giving away too many assets for a B-level talent to try and save face.
You may not always agree with the plan, but it's clear that there will always be a plan, something that the Nets have been without since Bruce Ratner bought the team.
3. "Frankly speaking, I like women. In my heart, I am still teenager. And I am very open and I don't want to hide this."
In a world where plenty of sports stars, owners and executives play the role of family men for their image to just turn around and screw around when they are on the road, Prokhorov is happy to be honest about his lifestyle. He loves women (plural) and knows that his lifestyle does not jive with being married.
Even if you disagree with how he carries himself in his personal life -- and there are plenty of you out there -- it's impossible to deny that he is living his life the way he wants. No PR flack or adviser is going to talk him into being anyone other than who he is and that is something fans can respect.
2. "In terms of celebrity, we've already killed the Lakers. We have Kim Kardashian, Maria Sharapova, Beyonce, Jay-Z."
Sure, winning will take time, but it didn't take long for the Nets to get the most firepower sitting courtside. Prokhorov is no dummy. He realizes perception can often be a close second to actually winning. While they wait for the winning to come around, the Nets and their owner can take solace knowing that the fans can keep up with the Kardashian's in the meantime.
1. "I am instructing our team to walk away from the deal and the meeting that was supposed to be held by our management, tomorrow in Denver with Carmelo, is hereby cancelled."
When the franchise needed a shot in the arm this summer, Prokhorov got on TV and spoke about stealing fans from the Knicks and winning a championship in five years.
With the Denver Nuggets publicly mocking the Nets by asking for more and more in trade discussions and playing the franchise and owner for a fool, Prokhorov once again got on TV and set matter straight. Sure, the Nets wanted a star, but they weren't going to be anyone's punch line in order to get them.
As much fun as it is to talk about women and celebrities, Prokhorov showed that when an iron fist is needed, he is more than happy to provide it. The only thing that is missing right now is having him around during the entire season, instead of once every couple of months.
Until he becomes a resident owner, we will have to settle for him in bits and pieces. Luckily those are better than most owner's entire arsenal.