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News » NBA Russian agrees to purchase Nets Stern praises deal as chance for global expansion

NBA Russian agrees to purchase Nets Stern praises deal as chance for global expansion

NBA Russian agrees to purchase Nets Stern praises deal as chance for global expansion NEW YORK - Russia's richest man has a deal to buy a controlling interest in the New Jersey Nets and nearly half of a project to build a new arena in Brooklyn.

Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim Group announced the deal Wednesday with Forest City Ratner Companies and Nets Sports and Entertainment. They say they have signed a letter of intent to create a strategic partnership for the development of the Atlantic Yards Project.

NBA commissioner David Stern is praising the move. He says it's a chance for the NBA to expand globally and ensures that the Nets will have a new arena.

"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.

Stern has long touted the NBA's international reach, proudly boasting that two-thirds of the players on the medals podium at the Beijing Olympics were NBA players. The league plays preseason games in Europe and China, and its All-Star and NBA finals games have been televised in hundreds of countries.

The deal would have to be approved by the NBA's board of governors.

In other news

Second collective-bargaining meeting - The NBA and its players' association have completed their second collective-bargaining meeting, calling it a "productive information sharing session."

They met for three hours Wednesday, with the players presenting their financial information. The owners offered details of theirs last month at the first meeting

The current agreement runs through the 2010-11 season, but the sides decided to open talks well in advance with many teams struggling because of the economic downturn.

Blount seeks new home - Mark Blount will not join the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have given his agent permission to seek a new team for the veteran center.

Blount will not report to training camp next week or participate in the preseason, the Timberwolves announced Wednesday. Blount will stay at his Miami home while agent Mark Bartelstein tries to find a team where his client can get more playing time.

Harpring out - Veteran Utah Jazz forward Matt Harpring will not take part in the team's training camp or preseason and will miss the start of the regular season.

Harpring has been plagued by knee injuries and an ankle problem. Last year, he developed a strep infection after a June surgery to remove a bone spur in his right ankle.

Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor made the announcement Wednesday that Harpring can't play for now and that his status will be re-evaluated in six weeks.

Bobcats sign Felton - Raymond Felton signed Charlotte's one-year, $5.5 million qualifying offer on Wednesday.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: September 25, 2009


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