When Mikhail Prokhorov purchased the Brooklyn Nets — then, the New Jersey Nets — five years ago for $223 million, he made promises of supplanting the New York Knicks as the hot ticket in town, as well as winning a championship. Well, the Nets have supplanted the Knicks in one regard: they’re not the worst team in the NBA. But their record (16-22) isn’t anything to brag about (note: if the playoffs started today, the Nets would actually be the eighth seed — go Eastern Conference!), as unloading assets to obtain high-priced, high-profile talent hasn’t led to much success. Now, four coaches, a $144 million operating loss (just last season), and only one playoff series win later, Prokhorov is reportedly looking to cash out:
“As we have been saying for many months, team ownership is open to listening to offers,” said Ellen Pinchuk, a spokeswoman for Prokhorov. “That’s just part of the business. There is nothing imminent in terms of the sale of any stake in the team.”
Regardless of when a sale goes through, don’t cry for Prok. His initial investment may pay out ten times that by the time signatures hit dotted lines:
Galatioto declined to put a price tag on the team, which valuations expert Peter Schwartz said is worth about $1.3 billion. The arena is worth even more, said Schwartz, a managing director at Boston-based Christie & Associates, adding that the commodity tycoon’s combined stake is worth about $2 billion.
As we saw with the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers, valuations are merely educated guesses, and there’s no predicting how much a team in the #1 media market will fetch. Even if that team plays second banana to the Knicks.