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December 13, 2011

NBA says it has no problem with Prokhorov's presidential run; will he simply be seen as the Nets' owner, or also as a beneficiary of sweetheart deals?

Atlantic Yards Report

According to MarketWatch, the NBA says "a political career — even being head of state — is no impediment to owning a team."

That's very interesting. Wouldn't someone cry foul if, say, Mitt Romney bought the New Orleans Hornets--the league wants to sell it--to boost his career?

Owning a team has already boosted Prokhorov's image, and might well boost his career.

And what's to stop a politically minded owner from using his team, however it seems benign, to promote his political reputation? Say, a barnstorming tour through Russia. Or an effort to recruit support from Russian-Americans, and thus their relatives back home.

It's curious that NBA was willing to step in and stop a trade (maybe two) of Hornets guard Chris Paul. But Prokhorov, who's entering uncharted territory as an owner, is just fine. Until and unless he makes the league look bad.

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Posted by eric at December 13, 2011 12:49 PM