With Joseph Tsai buying the Brooklyn Nets from Mikhail Prokhorov, the team appears to be locked in with a passionate and component owner for years to come. However, whether or not the differences between Prokhorov and Tsai will effect the team on any level remains undetermined.
Nine years after eccentric Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov acquired enough shares to officially join the Brooklyn Nets as a partial owner, a recently inked $2.35 billion–dollar deal now transfers Prokhorov’s shares, and consequently his title as owner over to Joseph Tsai.
As a key component factoring into why the Nets now call the luxurious Barclays Center their home rather than their prior, unimpressive, Newark–based arena, Prokhorov acclaimed his tenure as successful one while offering a “farewell” press release earlier this week.
Although Brooklyn posted a lackluster 286–434 while Prokhorov owned the team, he exits Brooklyn leaving the team with the riches of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving after agreeing on hefty contracts with both during this summer’s free agent frenzy.
Now standing atop Brooklyn’s totem pole ahead other actual figures charged with working the team’s gears such as general manager Sean Marks and head coach Kenny Atkinson, Tsai enters a situation somewhat burdening him with championship expectations newly warranted by the team’s upgraded roster this summer.
Although as just an owner Tsai indeed lacks responsibilities pertaining immediately to the team’s on-court success, his place above those that do nevertheless positions him as an instrumental, new piece within the Brooklyn system.
While the e-commerce titan spends a great deal of time between China and California aside from New York City, look for Tsai to involve himself to an extent which Prokhorov never reached next year. As a former New Jersey resident, Tsai even allegedly attended more games last year than his predecessor despite his other interests certainly acquiring his attention.
Tsai also met his wife in the Big Apple and already maintains positive relations with NBA commissioner Adam Silver as an active NBA–China board member. When taking into account these personal and professional factors, they certainly give reason to expect notable enthusiasm and attentiveness towards the team from Tsai’s end.
Already owning the WNBA’s New York Liberty, Tsai now stands as perhaps the man behind New York basketball across all its platforms. As a complimentary purchase, Tsai also bought the Barclays Center this summer, which at the same time continues to prompt many within the New York media to expect a potential move to Brooklyn for the Liberty in the not too distant future.
Aside from the apparent differences between Prokhorov and Tsai in regards to his potential involvement going forward with his new purchase, he appears similar to Prokhorov from an economic standpoint.
With both Prokhorov and Tsai beginning to scratch their ways toward the $10 billion dollar net–worth mark, expect Tsai to carry over Prokhorov’s “spend-happy” mentality into his own regime, as Tsai’s fiscal prosperity will surely allow him to pay off any luxury taxes for the Nets while also granting Marks with enough funds to serve as general managers effectively.
Although a decently sized assembly of fans certainly enjoyed Prokhorov’s time as the team’s owner, as he seemingly always offered something to entertain fans with, such as the misplacement of his $50 million dollar yacht or promise to win a title within the next 5 years or else he’ll “get married as a punishment,” Tsai checks all the boxes as a worthy successor who’s likely to keep the Nets trending positively.