For the past week or so, the media has been writing constantly about Mikhail Prokhorov (majority owner of the New Jersey Nets), and his impending trip to the United States.
Prokhorov is returning to the states for the first time since the beginning of the season. Mikhail is flying in mainly for Russian Culture Night, which is planned to be held Wednesday night when the Nets square off against Andrei Kirilenko (who originates from Russia) and the Utah Jazz.
Or does Prokhorov really have another reason why he's flying in?
This game has been planned for months, so in all likelihood, Prokhorov was going to arrive on US soil sometime this week, no matter what. But the recent non-stop and borderline nauseating coverage of possible Carmelo Anthony to the Nets trade rumors are giving the owner additional incentive to make a trip to the states.
According to Chris Broussard and ESPN, Carmelo Anthony has never said that he is willing to sign a long term extension with the Nets if he is traded to the team. The Nets, naturally, would never pull the trigger on this trade unless they could secure Carmelo for an additional three years and at a rate of roughly $22 million per year.
This is why Mikhail Prokhorov and the Nets brass want to speak with Carmelo. Carmelo again claims that he knows nothing of these meetings and so forth. He's playing us like idiots and it is starting to get real annoying.
Will Carmelo agree to speak with Prokhorov and Jay-Z?
Prokhorov knows that the dismal Nets are going to be a hard sell, so that's why he would bring minority owner and hip-hop mogul Jay-Z along with him to make the pitch.
The real question is: Will Carmelo even agree to meet with these gentlemen? If he does, regardless of what happens, Mikhail Prokhorov, Jay-Z, and the Nets, will at least be able to gauge the situation better.
If 'Melo does not seem interested, the team hopefully will move in another direction and attempt to make several other blockbuster trades if possible.
With the trade deadline only five weeks away, things need to start happening immediately.
Ian is a contributor for Bleacher Report. Ian is also the cofounder of What's Good Blog and writes for the site daily.