Steve Kroft went to Moscow for a 60 Minutes segment on impending Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and got to do all kinds of fun things: eat a dinner of Russian delicacies, go to a club with a VIP section stocked with girls, and tour the sprawling mansion of Russia’s richest man (though Mr. Prokhorov–who doesn’t have a computer on his desk but does have a Live Journal blog–said he wasn’t sure if he really is the richest man in the country, because he isn’t even sure how much money he has, but $17 billion sounds about right).
Mr. Prokhorov, being the gentle 6’7″ giant that he is, even let Mr. Kroft hold one of his favorite Kalashnikov assault rifles. And he told Mr. Kroft that he sort of enjoyed the three days he spent in jail in France for allegedly flying prostitutes into the country.
All of which might have precluded Mr. Prokhorov from owning a team in the old days of the NBA, say, five years ago, when the league was flush with cash and teams weren’t giving away players to cut their losses.
Now, it doesn’t seem to matter.
“I think he’s a man who’s passed a very tight security check, and nobody has come up with any reason why he shouldn’t be an NBA owner,” said David Stern, the NBA commissioner, with a straight face.