Your latest reminder that an estimated net worth of nearly $9 billion affords you
near-total nigh-on-unfathomable a certain level of privilege came Wednesday, when Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov dropped in on his team's second day of training camp at Duke University in Durham, N.C. ... and proceeded to, in the words of Tim Bontemps of the New York Post, "demonstrate a variety of martial arts exercises using volleyballs, tennis balls, boards and sticks."
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Watch and learn and love, as Prokhorov begins by dribbling a basketball with one hand while bouncing a tennis ball on a board with the other:
... before getting down in a push-up stance and dribbling a tennis ball around one load-bearing arm:
... and dribbling a ball while putting his feet on another ball (check the smooth-as-silk dismount):
... and dribbling two balls while sitting on a ball:
... and doing push-ups on top of four basketballs:
... and doing push-ups on a stick on top of a basketball:
... and dribbling basketballs against a wall:
... and having his players do it, too:
Well, that was amazing. To what do we owe the core-and-coordination-blasting pleasure, Mr. Prokhorov? From Rod Boone of Newsday:
"My perception was to come personally and to say hello to the players and to the coaches," Prokhorov said. "I think it's very important for a new team to have special team building and, of course, a commitment of ownership. It's a part of this game. I also wanted to share something special with my own experience with martial arts and I really will be happy if it helps them in some way."
It's too early to say, really, whether this year's Nets — having moved on from the stillborn disappointment of the Deron Williams signing, looking to develop the honest-to-goodness identity that's been lacking ever since they moved to Brooklyn, and searching for a more rousing rallying cry than, "It's not that bad here" — will extract lasting benefits from their owner's ball-handling and exercise exhibition. (Then again, it's always good to strengthen your core.)
If nothing else, though, it was kind of neat for some of the more recently imported members of the club to meet the big boss, who was making his first visit to training camp since buying the franchise more than five years ago. More from Bontemps:
“That was cool,” Jarrett Jack said. “It was my first time meeting him in person, but for him to come out and show he’s a guy that actually tries to better himself, health-wise, that’s pretty cool. He’s works in a different realm, definitely, than we usually do.
“It was clear to see that it looks like it’s easy, but it definitely isn’t. It’s clear he’s put some time in, and he’s competitive, too.”
Competitive and, um, unconventional. More from Boone:
"He's a very interesting guy," Nets coach Lionel Hollins said. "He probably should be doing that commercial that they have, "I don't normally drink beer, but when I do ... ' He's one of those guys that's been around the world, has got varied sort of interests and it will be interesting to just get to know him better."
And, from the sound of it, Hollins and his charges will get that chance — Prokhorov told reporters gathered at camp that, despite reports to the contrary earlier this year, he has “no plans to sell controlling interest of the team.”
Of course he doesn't. Why cut yourself off from the opportunity to just plop yourself down in the middle of practice any time you'd like and start getting your Globetrotter on?
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