12up Logo12up Logo

Mikhail Prokhorov Finally Sells His 51 Percent Stake in Nets to Joe Tsai

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 03:  Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov speaks to the media before a game between the Brooklyn Nets and Oklahoma City Thunder at the Barclays Center on November 3, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Oklahoma City Thunder v Brooklyn Nets | Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The invisible man in the shadows pulling the strings that led to the Nets moving from New Jersey to Brooklyn has finally gotten himself out of the NBA ownership business.

Russian businessman Mikhail Prokhorov, who bought a majority stake in the then-New Jersey Nets in 2010, sold his remaining 51 percent stake in the team and relinquished control of Barclays Center to Joe Tsai, who recently bought a 49 percent share of the team in 2017. The deal is valued in its entirety at around $3.5 billion.

Tsai, a Chinese-Canadian businessman who is the vice-chairman of Chinese-based conglomerate Alibaba Group, also owns the San Diego Seals lacrosse team and the WNBA's New York Liberty, who have played some home games in Brooklyn. He also attempted to purchase the Carolina Panthers in 2018.

While Prokhorov's vision did lead to the team's move to Brooklyn, many criticized his win-now approach as one of the determining factors in making that ill-fated trade with the Boston Celtics that made the Nets a doormat for several years.

His ownership was also marred by some weird, eccentric moments, which isn't uncommon for ungodly rich people like him.

Prokhorov leaves behind a complicated legacy, but at least he went out on a high note following the Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant signings. Now it's Tsai's turn to run things in Brooklyn.