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Nets owner Mikhail Prohorov will run to be president of Russia

Mikhail Prohorov

Mikhail Prohorov Credit: Getty Images

Basketball isn't the only game that Nets owner and billionaire playboy Mikhail Prokhorov wants a shot at -- announcing Monday he'll run for president in his home country of Russia.

Prokhorov plans to challenge Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in the 2012 presidential election as the 46-year-old tycoon hopes to capitalize on recent anti-government sentiments.

"Those authorities who will fail to establish a dialogue with the society will have to go," Prokhorov reportedly said during a news conference in Moscow.

Prokhorov must collect 2 million signatures to be added to the ballot. While he has experience amassing a personal fortune in metals and banking, the Nets' majority owner would be a longshot against Putin, a veteran politician who served as Russia's president from 2000-08, observers said.

The Nets will move from New Jersey to Brooklyn for the 2012-13 season, and NBA rules don't bar owners from holding elected office.

"If we could vote, he'd have a lot of votes here in this building," said Nets coach Avery Johnson, according to ESPN. 


Mikhail Prokhorov vs. Vladimir Putin

Mikhail Prohorov

What he controls: New Jersey Nets as owner
Age: 46
Height: 6 ft. 8 in.
Estimated wealth: $18 billion
Political affiliation: Right Cause (pro-biz party)
Lifestyle: Playboy jetsetter known for a love of yachts and women
Fighting style: Mixed Martial Arts
Sense of style: Loose-fitting T-shirts and jeans
Biggest scandal: Investigated in 2007 for allegedly supplying prostitutes to guests at Alpine ski resort
Sports background: Owner of the Nets

Vladimir Putin

What he controls: Russia as prime minister
Age: 59
Height: 5 ft. 5 in. - 5 ft. 9 in. (unclear)
Estimated wealth: $40 billion (rumored)
Political affiliation: United Russia (centrist party)
Lifestyle: Outdoors adventurer who likes hunting, tree climbing and conquering Siberia
Fighting style: Judo
Sense of Style: Bare-chested, green fatigues and Indiana Jones-style hat
Biggest scandal: Plagued by corruption scandals, including allegedly building a lavish mansion this year paid for by kickbacks
Sports background: Extreme sports aficionado; worked hard to develop Russian sports 

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