Tsai will have the ability to become the controlling owner in three years, as he can acquire further shares in 2021.
Prokhorov’s company, Onexim Sports and Entertainment Holding USA Inc., will continue to own Barclays Center, the home to the Nets. Prokhorov officially purchased the team in 2010 and moved the organization from New Jersey to Brooklyn.
“We are excited to have Joe as a partner,” Prokhorov and Dmitry Razumov, chairman of the board, emphasized in a letter to Nets’ season-ticket holders. “He brings tremendous global experience, a passion for basketball, and shares our vision for the development of the Nets. Joe feels personally connected to the area given that he attended high school in New Jersey and lived in New York City for many years. Today’s announcement allows for greater opportunities, and we’re looking forward to our next chapter.”
Tsai attended the Lawrenceville School, which is located in New Jersey, and subsequently spent his undergraduate years at Yale. He is a co-founder of the China-based Alibaba Group.
Tsai has bought into the Nets at an interesting time in the team’s history. This will be the final season that the organization will be without its own draft pick, as it relinquished multiple first-round picks to the Boston Celtics in a deal that brought Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn.
The Nets never experienced the success they had envisioned, and the team has struggled mightily in recent years. However, a strong management team and a developmental coaching staff have the Nets trending in the right direction. The team finished 28-54 during the 2017-18 season. The team will likely look to build around point guard D'Angelo Russell, whom the nets acquired in a 2017 summer trade with the Los Angeles Lakers.
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