Mikhail Prokhorov trying to relocate company that owns team to Russia
NEW ORLEANS - Mikhail Prokhorov says he's trying to relocate his company that owns the Nets to Russia, a move he may believe is prudent, given the ongoing and growing sanctions between the United States and his native country.
The Nets' billionaire owner previously had revealed his plan to relocate, but in talking to reporters Monday before receiving a medal for his services in Russia, Prokhorov made it clear that the process is underway. He currently runs the Nets through Onexim Sports & Entertainment.
"I am doing all that I can to own the basketball club through a Russian company," Prokhorov said.
"This does not violate any NBA rules and I will bring it in accordance with Russian law."
In a statement, NBA Communications executive vice president Mike Bass said the league isn't aware of any decision by Prokhorov to move his company to Russia.
"The Nets are owned by Mikhail Prokhorov through a U.S.-based company," Bass said. "We have received no official application nor is there a process underway through our office to transfer the ownership of the Nets to another company."
Because of Russia's annexation of the Crimea, the United States, among others, has imposed economic sanctions on Russian businessmen with ties to Vladimir Putin. On Monday, Russia essentially was kicked out of the G-8 major industrial nations.
Prokhorov isn't quite sure if any imposed sanctions would affect his assets.
"This question is not clear so far," he said. "We are all now looking at it together. At the moment, so far, no."
Johnson is player of week
Joe Johnson's hot four-game stretch landed him Eastern Conference player of the week honors. In helping the Nets beat the Suns, Bobcats, Celtics and Mavericks, Johnson averaged 22.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists and shot 14-for-24 from three-point range. Against the Mavericks on Sunday night, he hit a clutch shot with 9.9 seconds left to send the game into overtime and then put the Nets ahead for good.
"It's great," coach Jason Kidd said. "It's great that Joe's won player of the week. It just shows the way this team is playing, but we move on."
Johnson won the award six times previously, but this is his first one as a Net. His honor marked the first time a member of the Nets has taken home the award since Devin Harris did it in March 2009.
"That is surprising, especially that last half of the season that Deron [Williams] played," Kidd said. "But it's an award and we move on."
Andrei Kirilenko, who sprained his left ankle in the second quarter Sunday, didn't play. It was the 32nd game he's missed this season because of an assortment of ailments.
Kirilenko was limping badly as he entered the building Monday night. There's no definitive word on his status for the final stop on the Nets' three-game road trip in Charlotte Wednesday.