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Can Russian money lure LeBron out of Cleveland?

RedsArmyAdmin September 24, 2009 Uncategorized 12 Comments

LEBRON RUSSIA

It's pretty much a done deal.  Russia's richest man, Mikhail Prokhorov, is going to buy an 80% controlling interest in the New Jersey… soon to be Brooklyn… Nets.

Suddenly… the "It makes the most sense for LeBron to stay in Cleveland" thing might not apply as much as it used to.

The guy is worth $9.5 billion… so I doubt there will be any luxury tax issues when 2010 rolls around.  You can build a team around the guy.  And LeBron is out there whoring himself out all over the place… so the opportunity to become ubiquitous in the Russian marketplace might be too tempting for LBJ. 

This is a man with the stated goal of being a billionaire.  Forget raising his profile by going to New York.  New York is secondary here.  The fact that this Russian playboy can throw his weight behind the LeBron brand is bigger than anything else that has been in this equation until now.  The NBA and China already have a huge relationship.  That doesn't exist yet in Russia.  I'm sure David Stern wouldn't mind his biggest star… and potentially one of the greatest players of all time… leading the charge into a new, lucrative market. 

So the NBA and LeBron would both win in this scenario.  And this doesn't even get into the fact that a gigantic media market would have a second team to call its own. 

All of a sudden, a LeBron jump to the Nets makes sense.  Sorry Cleveland.  You'd better hope you win it all this year.

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  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0115704b7be5970b bigpartymaker

    I’d like to see the “5th largest city” get a pro team. But damn, I can imagine the ticket prices being so high that the stadium will be filled with scarf wearing hipsters.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f6a54c2970c ToTheRuins

    What does it matter one way or another to celtics fan if hes playing in cleveland or new jersey?….He will actually be in our division at that rate…even worse

  • KY Celts fan

    so what if he’s in our division? We care about Championships, not division titles.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f6a54c2970c ToTheRuins

    I never said we didnt care about championships. i said im simply stating what difference does it make to a celtics fan whether lebron stays in cleveland or goes to New Jersey? it just doesnt

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redsarmy Red’s Army

    You don’t care if the best player on the planet is in your division or not? You don’t care if a team in your division is run by one of the richest men in the world who could just spend a ton to build a team?
    I do. This becomes the C’s chief competition. It also means we could see more of an exciting player in Boston.
    Besides, as an NBA fan, I find it interesting how this could change the face of the league.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f6a54c2970c ToTheRuins

    Honestly? no I dont really care for lebron or where hes playing, in regards to him being in our division, I originally stated that would be worse then him being in cleveland, but the vibe i get from most non cleveland fans is “haha! Lebrons leaving” well hes not leaving the league or probably even the east, so its not to my concern

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f5cea40970c Josh

    Honestly, I don’t see the NBA ever becoming big in Russia, or Lebron being someone most Russians would embrace. While basketball was important in the Cold War in Soviet Times, it has fallen by the wayside and is far behind soccer and hockey in terms of popularity.
    Russians like sports they can be a part of.. walk down to the stadium and drink some Baltika 3′s and sing songs and such. They really aren’t into watching sports on TV, and to watch a bunch of mostly Americans play a sport with medium popularity on a taped delay that they would probably have to pay extra to see… that isn’t going to happen.
    Don’t worry though, I will be waking up at 3:30 AM (Saint-Petersburg time) to watch the C’s on NBA International League Pass Broadband from Russia.
    Do you realize 9.5 Billion USD is 285 billion RUB. Damn

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f2d28d7970c BigMck

    It matters to basketball fans. Geez do you have to crap on everything around here?

  • AMP

    Why does it matter if Russia is interested in the NBA? It only matters if Mikhail Prokhorov is.
    I am glad Cleveland could lose him, but sad to see him go to the Nets!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f5cea40970c Josh

    Well I was referring to Stern hoping the Russian market would be big like the Chinese market, this just isn’t the case.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0120a53e7d0f970b Skitchy

    Yeah, Josh, you’re not the only russian celtics fan here! i’m here in moscow) props!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f5cea40970c Josh

    Слава России… нет, слава Celtics!