Ever since Mikhail Prokhorov made an offer to become Nets owner in 2009, he has not been shy about giving detailed, bluster-driven interviews on pretty much any topic. Over that period, he's claimed the Nets would make the playoffs in his first year at the helm (they didn't), win a championship in his first five years of ownership (looks unlikely), and eventually unseat the New York Knicks as the most popular basketball team in the five boroughs (to be determined, but unlikely in the next 15 years). On top of that, he's also said all kinds of wacky stuff about women, yachts, and whatever else happens to be asked of him in a particular interview. It's just how he rolls.
Rarely, though, has Prokhorov covered as many topics in one interview as he did in this new one conducted by Steve Serby of the New York Post. Though Thursday's inaugural regular-season game at Barclays Center is now in danger due to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, that milestone apparently inspired Prokhorov to cut loose. Here are just a few highlights from their amazing conversation:
Q: Who are you more like, your mother or father, and in what ways? Describe each of them.
A: My father was an emotional person, but I'm much more like my mother. She was cool as a cucumber, as you say in English. In Russian, we say calm as a boa constrictor!
Q: Why are women so hard to figure out?
A: Who's trying to figure them out? I think we just need to love them.
Q: Describe your ideal mate.
A: Beautiful, smart, sexy and makes a mean bowl of borscht.
Prokhorov has spoken often of his love of women, but as far as I know this is the first time he's said that men should let the fairer sex be themselves and not think too hard. From one point of view, that's actually pretty mature.
Q: Is marriage something you would consider some day?
A: I have said that if the Nets don't win the NBA championship within five years, I will punish myself by getting married. We are in year three. So no one is more interested in winning a championship than yours truly.
Whoops! So much for maturity.
Q: Which actor would you want to play you in the movie about your life and why?
A: Chris Rock or Danny DeVito. For obvious physical resemblance.
Translation: "Your question is silly and I will not take it seriously." Also, a Hollywood studio would invariably give the job to someone like Jim Sturgess.
Q: How would you do in a one-on-one pickup basketball game against James Dolan (right)?
A: I'd rather split a pizza with him and watch our teams battle it out.
"But Jimmy would eat it all, and then I'd be left to spend $15 on a pretzel at our concession stands."
Q: What do you remember about the U.S. hockey team upset of the Soviets in Lake Placid?
A: I remember watching the game. It was a total shock and disappointment. I loved hockey. I remember very well that there were only six gold medals won by the US in that Olympics. Five by Eric Heiden, and the last one was hockey. Brezhnev cried.
This is just a beautiful bit of trolling by Prokhorov. Sure, the capitalist pigs won that hockey game, but did you know that the rest of their Olympics were a disaster? On home soil, too!
Q: People you haven't met and would like to meet?
A: This person called Honey Boo Boo is at the top of my list at the moment. From Moscow it looks as though the US has lost its collective mind on that.
Guys, we have a lot of soul-searching to do. Even the country who hasn't had a famous cultural export since t.A.T.u. is mocking us.
Q: Favorite meal?
A: You won't believe it, but I like fresh Russian white bread with a slice of what we call "doctor's bologna" and hot tea with sugar. Not a meal, really, but more of a snack. Reminds me of my childhood. Also, pasta with truffles at Nello's. Absolutely to die for.
"Doctor's bologna" sounds like an educated version of Spam, but it's actually just a form of mortadella. I am so disappointed.
Based on this interview, I'm rooting for a Nets championship just so Prokhorov can go on a full-scale media tour. It'd be even better than his "Charlie Rose" interview.
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- Mikhail Prokhorov
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