Russian Billionaires Are NBA's Last Hope

All New Jersey Nets owner Bruce Ratner wants to do is get the Nets out of New Jersey and plant them in the heart of Brooklyn, but he's missing one key ingredient. What's it called? Oh right...money. He has none.

Ratner is still scrambling to build his terrible horrible no good very bad basketball arena right in the middle of the busiest intersection in Brooklyn. Nobody really wants it there and no one wants to pay for it—he had to fire architecture god Frank Gehry because his original design was too expensive—and the eminent domain-ed land owners will fight it tooth and nail. Yet Ratner persists. And with a "break ground or else" deadline looming he's turned to the only person who can help him—a disgustingly rich Russian oligarch.

According to Forbes, Mikhail Prokhorov is the richest man in Russia, worth approximately $9 billion. (And he's single! Ladies?) Reports are saying that Ratner has offered Prokhorov an ownership stake in the Nets if he helps build the arena. Other sports teams have dropped Prokhorov's name recently in order to make people think they are a viable business, so it could just be a smokescreen. On the other hand, the guy loves basketball and probably wants to meet LeBron James and Jay-Z, so who knows? Doesn't he look like a man who wants to play some hoops?

In other news, the Nets should just move to Boise or something. Plenty of space there!

Prokhorov May Fund NBA Stadium [Moscow Times]
Huge Atlantic Yards project wins crucial approval [Crain's]
New Jersey Nets' new arena could get assist from Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov [ESPN]