Mark Cuban Calls Mikhail Prokhorov a P***y

Either Mark Cuban and Mikhail Prokhorov are really good friends — the type of friends that can insult each other’s mommas without hard feelings — or Cuban has no respect for the Nets’ new owner.  Before the Mavericks handled the Nets on Thursday night, Cuban was asked about Prokhorov during his pregame workout in the locker room.  According to the NY Daily News, the Mavs’ owner didn’t speak highly of his Nets’ counterpart.

He’s a p—y,” Cuban quipped Thursday when asked about Prokhorov.

“(Prokhorov) doesn’t come to games,” Cuban said. “Who the hell knows? I think he recognizes that his job is progress more than rings right now. But you never know. If Prokhorov does what I did to try to make deals and get something before the trade deadline then all that changes. But, you know, building a true professional team means having to spend money. We just haven’t seen it.”

Though not surprising when taking into account some of his other antics, that’s some pretty harsh criticism from Cuban.  Prokhorov has vowed to build a championship team out of the Nets, but clearly Cuban’s not buying it.  As for whether or not he’s a (word that usually means someone who’s not tough and has no stones), I don’t know.

P.S. — We apologize for the slight vulgarity here at LBS today.  It’s just one of those days.

Jay-Z Not As Confident in Nets Future as Mikhail Prokhorov

Jay-Z and Mikhail Prokhorov both own a stake in the New Jersey Nets.  They share a title of owner, but they may not share a level of confidence in the team’s immediate future.  I say that because Jay-Z had some interesting comments about whether or not he is recruiting LeBron James to sign with the Nets.  When asked about Knicks president Donnie Walsh’s plan to get as many people as possible to recruit King James to Madison Square Garden as a home next season — including Yankees players — Derek Jeter expressed that he sees no point in doing that.

Although he obviously isn’t going to try and convince James to sign with the Knicks, Jay-Z said that he wasn’t going to try very hard to persuade him to sign with the Nets either.  Here’s what Jay-Z said about recruiting LeBron James in a recent Rolling Stone interview:

That’s his decision. We’re friends — we’ve still gotta hang out! I don’t want to convince somebody to do something, then have to see him and say, ‘Uh, yeah, we’re 4-30 … sorry.'”

Don’t worry, I’m not trying to make a huge deal out of nothing.  I know he’s probably kidding around, and of course Jay-Z’s going to try to convince the biggest free agent name on the market (who also happens to be his close friend) to sign with the team he’s a part-owner of.  What struck me as a bit funny about the comments is how much they differ from the message Prokhorov delivered in his video to Nets fans, when he wouldn’t rule out an NBA Championship next season.  Jay-Z is most likely just playing it cool to maintain his image, and he and LeBron probably had a laugh about it.  He can say whatever he’d like, but at the end of the day we all know he cares a lot more than Kobe Bryant about where The King plays next season.

Jeter, Jay-Z not recruiting James to N.Y. [ESPN New York]

New Nets Owner Means Business

The 2009-2010 New Jersey Nets were easily one of the worst NBA teams of all time.  They finished the season a mere three losses away from matching the ’72-’73 Philadelphia 76ers for the worst season in NBA history, with a final record of 12-70.  Last week, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov — the 39th richest man in the world according to Forbes Magazinepurchased an 80 percent share of the Nets for $200 million.  Prokhorov isn’t being shy about making predictions for his new team.  Not only does he expect the Nets to make the playoffs next season — he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of bringing a championship to New Jersey right away.  Check out the video of new Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov addressing Nets fans and making his predictions for the team’s future, courtesy of Staten Island Live.

I actually respect Prokhorov’s effort in making this video.  Are his predictions a bit far-fetched at this point?  Probably.  Signing LeBron James and obtaining the first overall pick in the Draft Lottery would certainly be a start.  Whether the Nets are capable of making the playoffs next season and winning an NBA title in the next five years or not, you have to applaud Prokhorov for coming out and directly addressing the fans right away instead of hiding like a lot of owners.  Many owners buy a team and then are never seen or heard from, so it takes a lot of guts to come right out and address the concerns of fans whose team only managed 10 wins.  Is it wrong that I can’t watch this video without thinking of Ivan Drago’s “I cannot be defeated, I will defeat all man” speech in Rocky IV?

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov address fans via internet video [SILive.com]
Done Deal: Mikhail Prokhorov owns the New Jersey Nets [NJ.com]