Prokhorov's models: Part of the act?

October, 28, 2010
10/28/10
6:34
PM ET
Abbott By Henry Abbott
ESPN.com
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In a massive profile of the Nets' Mikhail Prokhorov, The New York Times' Chip Brown suggests the stunning young women who feature so prominently in the narrative of Prokhorov's life may be there, in no small part, for appearances:
I asked about the whole model-mad playboy motif, which seemed a bit of a put-on. “It’s a legend,” Prokhorov admitted. “But it is a legend I like to keep close to.”

One night in Moscow he invited me to one of his disco evenings, which he likes to organize every three weeks or so. On this Friday night in late July, his social secretary booked the V.I.P. area at a trendy den called the Soho Rooms, and then called several Russian modeling agencies to stock the pond.

When I arrived, Prokhorov was standing in a V.I.P. corral with two dozen high-cheekboned knockouts in lethal heels and dresses that were more like plot summaries. The blue and gray plastic V.I.P. bracelets on their wrists made them look like a flock of banded herons. Most couldn’t have been more than 20 or 25, though it was hard to make a scientific evaluation with stroboscopic eruptions of green laser light exploding around the room. Prokhorov, in a striped gray suit, spent most of the night posted in the same spot, bobbing to the heavy beat, sipping club soda and occasionally chatting with a model bold enough to engage him.

But it was not the models who seemed to interest him so much as the fact that the V.I.P. area wasn’t completely segregated from the rest of the club, and he could “feel the energy” of the smartly dressed new Russians on the main dance floor, all moving in unison, building a little socialism for the night.

He left, as planned, on the dot of 3.

Later in the same article, Prokhorov says that more than money, he is interested in being seen as "the man."

Henry Abbott | email

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