Nets minority stakeholder Joseph Tsai is in talks to buy the Barclays Center in Brooklyn – as well as the new Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale – from controlling owner Mikhail Prokhorov, Josh Kosman and Brett Cyrgalis of The New York Post report.
According to Kosman and Cyrgalis, those negotiations are expected to clear a path for Tsai to take over as the Nets’ majority owner, since the NBA likes its team owners to control the arena where the club plays.
Tsai officially purchased a 49% stake in the Nets from Prokhorov about a year ago for $1 billion, and that deal included language that will allow Tsai to buy the rest of the team in 2021 for $1.35 billion. However, as Kosman and Cyrgalis confirm, there’s nothing stopping Prokhorov from selling his share of the club to Tsai ahead of schedule.
According to the Post’s report, the NBA would fully embrace a sale to Tsai, since the league recognizes he’ll be able to help grow the sport and the NBA’s brand in China — he’s already a member of NBA China despite not yet owning the Nets. One source tells Kosman and Cyrgalis that the league “would be ecstatic” if Tsai assumes control of the franchise.
While it’s not clear what sort of timeline we should expect for Tsai to take over the Barclays Center and the Nets, the negotiations shouldn’t have to be contentious. Brian Lewis of The New York Post wrote last month that Prokhorov and Tsai have maintained a good relationship, with Brooklyn GM Sean Marks praising the duo’s willingness to “collaborate.”