The New Jersey Nets, owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, slaughtered the stronger NBA's Utah Jazz with a score of 103:95 in a game at home in Newark, New Jersey, on Wednesday evening.
The game between the two "most Russian teams" from the National Basketball Association was organized by Prokhorov as "an evening of Russian culture" for American fans. Andrei Kirilenko from Moscow is a forward for Utah Jazz.
"We [the Nets] are currently preparing for relocation to Brooklyn and we want to use this opportunity to introduce the Nets to the Russian community in Greater New York," Prokhorov said last week. "And for fans of the Nets, this will be a chance to get to know Russia."
During the game and timeouts, well-known Russian songs like Kalinka and the Red Army were blasted through the loudspeakers while bears in Russian folk garb ran across the court during breaks at Prudential Center with a seating capacity of 18,000. Russian DJ Smash's hit Moscow Never Sleeps and Russian Eurovision music contestant Pyotr Nalich's Guitar were also heard during the game.
Besides metals tycoon Prokhorov, other Russians and "Russian-related" celebrities were spotted in the stands, including tennis queen Maria Sharapova's fiance, Los Angeles Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic, as well as Washington Capital's Russian hockey player, Alexander Ovechkin.
The billionaire bought 80 percent of the New Jersey Nets in May 2010 for $200 million.
The Nets finished 2010 in 13th place out of 16 in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team won nine games and lost 24 during the season.
NEWARK, January 20 (RIA Novosti)
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