Dodgers ownership group in talks with Nets: report

By on October 3, 2014

Brooklyn and the Dodgers may again be united.

Mikhail Prokhorov is in discussions with the Guggenheim Partners, the wildly wealthy global investment firm that owns the L.A. Dodgers, on a potential deal,

Guggenheim Partners holds the trademark rights for “Brooklyn Dodgers.”

“I like Magic Johnson,” Nets point guard Deron Williams said Thursday when told of the discussions, although it’s unclear if the Lakers great is a part of this group. “(Nets ownership) has been great. We don’t see Mr. Prokhorov much, but when we do, he’s been great. He’s been great for this organization. I don’t know what’s going on as far as that’s concerned. My job as a player is to come out and play. It doesn’t matter if you were the controlling owner of the team. My job is to come out and play.”

Prokhorov has been an absentee owner in his short tenure, attending few games while juggling various businesses and a political career overseas.

He spent extravagantly on players, turning the roster into the most expensive in NBA history while paying $ 90 million in luxury taxes last season. But such splurging came with a price — a $ 144 million shortfall in the basketball operations department, according to ESPN, a loss that was 11 times greater than that of any team in the league.

Prokhorov finally showed signs that he’s trying to cut spending. The Nets declined to match an offer for Paul Pierce in the summer, mostly because of the $ 20 million luxury-tax hit. There also was the fallout with Jason Kidd that triggered a reevaluation for the franchise.

With the Nets bleeding money, Ratner recently hired an investment bank to advise him on selling his 20% stake in the team. Ratner, who fought with neighborhood residents about the construction of Barclays Center, also sold a majority stake of his 15-tower apartment project around Barclays Center for $ 200 million to a Chinese government-owned firm.

Ratner bought the Nets in 2004 for $ 300 million and sold most of it to Prokhorov six years later. Ratner still owns 55% of Barclays Center.

Reps for the NBA, the Nets, Ratner and Prokhorov all declined to comment.

Ganis said the talks appear to be far from a done deal.

With Michael O’Keeffe

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