Friday, October 23, 2009

The Russian Is Coming...

to the NBA.

NyPo has the latest on Mikhail Prokhorov, who appears to be close to being cleared to buy the NBA's New Jersey Nets:
Billionaire playboy Mikhail Prokhorov, who is close to buying the Nets, took a half-dozen comrades to Nello on the Upper East Side Wednesday afternoon, following a meeting with NBA owners.

He concluded that they had hit it off so well, he'll have no trouble getting them to approve his plan to buy the team.

The tab and tip totaled close to $19,000 for Prokhorov and his pals

Besides pricey booze, the mogul from Moscow and the men and women in his party spared no expense on food.

Their check included $825 for three orders of truffle tagliolini; $600 for four orders of truffle carpaccio; $210 for three orders of veal chops with mushrooms; and $72 for six large waters.

Not to mention $15 for a bowl of chicken soup.

The lunch was topped off with a $5,000 bottle of vintage 1998 Chateau Petrus and two bottles of 2002 Montrachet Latour for $3,600.

Nello Balan, owner of the celebrity hotspot, said Prokhorov acted like the deal to buy majority ownership of the New Jersey Nets from developer Bruce Ratner and move the club to Brooklyn was already done.

"He was very happy to be in New York and was celebrating his new acquisition," Balan said.

"He said that as of January he would own the Nets, and is looking forward to being a very big part of New York."

Balan declined to disclose Prokhorov's exact tab. But a copy of the receipt obtained by The Post showed it totaled $15,007.87.

A source said Prokhorov was great with gratuities. He dropped a 25 percent tip of roughly $3,750.

Balan described Prokhorov as a "great guy," extremely polite, and a semi-regular at Nello who dines there every couple of months when he's in town.
The latest estimate has Prokhorov net worth at $9.5 billion.

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