Prokhorov Clams Up

times prokhorov Prokhorov Clams UpLast month, presumptive Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov was showing off his AKs to 60 Minutes. Now, he won’t even talk to The Times.

Howard Beck has a write-around of the mining mogul–who recently dropped from the top spot among Russia’s richest men–and Mr. Prokhorov opted to stay mum.

“Prokhorov also understands star power and the value of mystique, ” Mr. Beck writes. “He declined to be interviewed for this article, preferring to prolong the speculation about his plans.”

Perhaps he’s prolonging, but he’s also helping his chances to win approval from the N.B.A.’s Board of Governors–the last hurdle to his taking over the team. By showing off his assault rifles, taking Steve Kroft to the club, and being glib about his arrest in France on prostitution charges, the aspiring owner is practically daring Commissioner David Stern–who’s tried to clean up the league’s image–not to back him. (But, with the economy and the Nets as bad as they are, that remains unlikely.)

It seems Mr. Prokhorov did let The Times photograph him; the story runs with a great shot of the billionaire’s Moscow office, where he sits at a desk (sans computer) as a comely secretary strolls away.