Nets, Russian owner, now sponsored by Russian vodka

In a move that should make Nets fans proud, well, they've finally broken through.

Couldn't sign LeBron James(notes), couldn't trade for Carmelo Anthony(notes), either. Couldn't keep Rod Thorn, could hire Billy King and sign Travis Outlaw(notes).

And now, the best of it. They've signed Stolichnaya Vodka (heretofore referred to as "Stoli") as a major sponsor. Because the team's owner is Russian. Get it?

I have no problem with the Nets being sponsored, however slightly, by a spirit. We're big boys, here, and there's no point in waggling a moral tongue. But a Russian vodka, just because owner Mikhail Prokorov is Russian? And according to CNBC's Darren Rovell, Mikhail might play a big part. From Darren's Twitter account:

The NJ Nets have signed their 1st Russian sponsorship deal: Stoli Vodka. Stoli exec told me Prokhorov might be used in ads

You know, back in the very racist 1980s, a video game came out that embellished all of the worst stereotypes of various foreign countries. The French were represented by a cowardly tomato can. The Germans were mustachioed and belligerent. The Japanese were portrayed by a man with not one but two car-related references in his name. The Spainard was full of himself and danced with a rose between his teeth. The Indian wore a turban. The people of Hippo Island were represented by a very, very fat man.

And the Russian? Well, he drank from his "soda pop" bottle until he turned purple, and talked about how he wasn't allowed to drive anymore. Kind of like Billy King wasn't allowed to make trades anymore, after the Sixers let him go.

Just a curious choice, New Jersey. Have fun with it. Call me if you need a ride.

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