The NBA. Where amazing happens, huh? David Stern has globalized the game of basketball to a level no one ever thought possible. I mean look back at last season. Houston Rockets center Yao Ming and New Jersey Nets power forward Yi Jianlian provided the world with the most televised regular season game of all-time! I mean…the channel CCTV-5 in China is available in 210 million households!
One of the biggest names in the NBA Draft came from a country where people run away from bulls for fun, and that’s Ricky Rubio. Dirk Nowitszki, all the way from Germany, is one of the biggest household names in the NBA. Tony Parker, one of the best point guards in the league, comes from France.
Not many people know this, but four-time NBA champion and arguably the greatest basketball player in the world today, KB24 Kobe Bryant, spent most of his life growing up in Italy.
Now, this season it looks very likely that the NBA will have its first ever non-North American owner in Mikhail Prokhorov. Prokhorov is a 44-year-old Russian billionaire who is a former amateur basketball player.
Prokhorov was ruled as the richest man in Russia by Forbes and has an estimated net worth of $9.5 billion. With Prokhorov’s "dough," the New Jersey Nets will be able to move forward with their plans to move the team to Brooklyn.
The franchise started with the ABA in 1967 as the Americans. They later became what we know them today as the Nets, where they bounced around to different arenas in New Jersey and New York before settling in the swamps of East Rutherford in 1981-82.
So a team that was once called the Americans may have a Russian man hangin out courtside with Jay-Z and Beyonce calling the shots and watching Yi Jianlian and the Nets. There is only one Russian player in the NBA, Andrei Kirilenko and David Stern is thrilled to possibly have another Russian presence in the league.
“Interest in basketball and the NBA is growing rapidly on a global basis, and we are especially encouraged by Mr. Prokhorov’s commitment to the Nets and the opportunity it presents to continue the growth of basketball in Russia,” Stern said in a statement.
Oh yeah, then there’s 2010. There’s that guy LeBron James who will become a free agent. The Nets have spent the last three seasons dumping cap space in order to sign Mr. James. Bron Bron said in an interview in New York City last summer that Brooklyn was his favorite borough. Ok….Oh yeah, and Jay-Z’s got his new album out, “The Blueprint 3″ and in his latest video, LeBron James can be found shooting around with HOV rapping.
Reporters have asked LBJ basically every question there is regarding his decision coming up in one season, but they haven’t asked one and if you see him, make sure to ask: "LeBron, how do you feel about caviar?"