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Volume 24 No. 178
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Sources: Nets Owner Prokhorov Open To Idea Of Selling Controlling Stake In Franchise

Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov, while focused on selling a minority stake in the franchise, has "warmed recently to the possibility of offering a controlling slice of the team," according to sources cited by Kosman & Lewis of the N.Y. POST. A source said that the "change of heart comes after the initial reaction to the minority stake sale was weak" -- and with interest in the Rockets sale "heating up." Sources said that the Nets "believe some of the suitors who look at the Rockets will also take an interest in them." One source of investment cash, from wealthy Chinese investors, is of "particular interest to both the Rockets and the Nets." Prokhorov has been "unsuccessfully trying to find a buyer" for 49% of the Nets for nearly a year. In recent days, Prokhorov "got approval from the NBA Finance Committee to split the corporate ownership of the Nets and Barclays Center." That will "make it easier to sell the team -- as this season the Nets for the first time since moving to Brooklyn" in '12 may turn a profit. A source said that Barclays Center, "deep in debt, is not assured of a profitable year." Kosman & Lewis note Nets Exec VP/Global Partnerships Mike Zavodsky is in China this week with 20 meetings "lined up" (N.Y. POST, 7/27).