Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY
Published 11: 36 a.m. ET Aug. 16, 2019 | Updated 11: 42 a.m. ET Aug. 16, 2019CLOSE
SportsPulse: The NBA schedule came out and yes we know it is a lot to sift through. Trysta Krick provides the key dates, matchups and moments that will answer the biggest questions facing the top teams.
USA TODAYRussian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov is selling the controlling interest of the Brooklyn Nets to Alibaba Group co-founder and Canadian billionaire Joe Tsai, the team announced on Friday. Tsai already bought 49% of the Nets last year for $1 billion and his purchase of the other 51% for $1.35 billion, according to The Associated Press, makes him the sole investor of the team. That $2.35 billion will be the highest price paid for a U.S. sports franchise. The previous mark was held by the Houston Rockets and the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, with both franchises being bought for $2.2 billion.Tsai is also purchasing full ownership of Barclays Center, the Nets’ home stadium, for about $1 billion. The entire transaction is still pending approval from the NBA’s board of governors. The ownership move comes on the heels of an eventful summer for the Nets, as the organization signed marquee free agents Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, beating out their tradition-rich neighbor, the New York Knicks.Tsai, the co-founder of Alibaba — China’s equivalent to Amazon — is one of the world’s 150 richest people according to Forbes. He was born in Taiwan and is also a Canadian citizen.As part of the move, Brett Yormark, who served as CEO of the Nets for the last 15 years, is expected to step down after the transition. Yormark was one of the key figures in moving the Nets to Brooklyn from New Jersey.Prokhorov, who bought the team in 2010 for $200 million, said in a statement he felt satisfied about leaving the team in a “better place.” “I’ve had the opportunity to witness up close the Brooklyn Nets rebuild that Mikhail started a few years ago,” Tsai said in a statement provided by the team. “He hired a front office and coaching staff focused on player development, he supported the organization with all his resources, and he refused to tank. I will be the beneficiary of Mikhail’s vision, which put the Nets in a great position to compete, and for which I am incredibly grateful.”Follow Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleesonAutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext Slide
Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY