Joseph Tsai praises former Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov for refusing to tank
New Brooklyn Nets owner Joseph Tsai has nothing but good words to say about former franchise controlling owner Mikhail Prokhorov.
Prokhorov sold his Nets majority stake to Tsai for a reported 2.35 billion, putting an end to the Russian billionaire’s stint with the franchise.
While Prokhorov’s time as Brooklyn Nets boss was highlighted by the disastrous trade for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, Tsai still spoke fondly of the departing owner and acknowledged him for refusing to tank despite their previous struggles.
“He hired a front office and coaching staff focused on player development, he supported the organization with all his resources, and he refused to tank,” Tsai noted, per Diamond Leung of The Athletic.
Prokhorov and former Nets CEO Brett Yormark hired general manager Sean Marks to run the team in 2016. They also brought in respected coach Kenny Atkinson in the same year to build the team’s identity of the court.
Atkinson’s work — and by extension, Prokhorov’s plan to rebuild and not “tank” — paid off with a playoffs appearance in 2019. They also turned D’Angelo Russell into an All-Star and developed young players such as Jarrett Allen, Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie into valuable rotation players.
Furthermore, the Nets completely flipped their image with a huge splash in this year’s free agency, signing Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan — perhaps only rivaling what the Los Angeles Clippers did in the offseason.
There are positive vibes in Brooklyn, and Tsai is thankful for Prokhorov’s intervention.