Mark Cuban: Shot at Prokhorov?

Updated: January 24, 2014, 9:10 PM ET
By Mike Mazzeo and Bryan Gutierrez | Special to ESPN.com

NEW YORK -- Mark Cuban doesn't think an NBA owner can run a franchise from the other side of the world, only dropping in on special occasions.

"Absolutely not," the Dallas Mavericks' billionaire owner said.

While Cuban was not asked specifically about Mikhail Prokhorov, the Brooklyn Nets' billionaire owner does just that from his native Russia.

"Hypothetically speaking, and this only applies to individuals 6-foot-5 and under [Prokhorov is 6-8], you can't," Cuban said Friday before the Mavericks took on the Nets at Barclays Center. "It's like trying to run a company and not being able to do go to sales meetings, not being able to go to customer service meetings."

Prokhorov has attended just two Nets games this season: the team's home-opener Nov. 1, and its game in London on Jan. 16. Yet he defended his "absentee ownership" recently, saying he pays plenty of attention to his team even though he's thousands of miles away the majority of the time.

"Frankly speaking, there's a lot of criticism that I am not in Brooklyn," he said. "But, I just have a question for you: Do you really think you need to be sitting in the arena to see a game?

"My friends, we are living in the 21st century. And, in spite of the fact I have no computer, I still have a subscription for the NBA games, and for me, it's like enough to even have a look on the stats so you can understand what is going on."

It's not the first time the two power owners have fired shots at one another.

Back in December 2010, Cuban referred to Prokhorov as a "[p----]," using a crude term considered an insult to one's manhood.

"I think Mark has it wrong. I don't like cats," Prokhorov said in a statement released by the team.

When the two teams were battling to sign point guard Deron Williams, Prokhorov said jokingly, "Let the best man win. If he wins, I will crush him in a kickboxing throwdown."

The Nets eventually were able to re-sign Williams, inking him to a five-year, $98 million contract.

In early December 2013, when asked if he had any advice for Prokhorov, Cuban cracked, "Drink more? I don't know."

Cuban has recently said he doesn't want to be "stuck" like the Nets with a payroll that, including luxury taxes, will go over the $180 million mark. Cuban also joked when asked about Nets coach/minority owner Jason Kidd, who paid $500,000 for a fraction of 1 percent of the team and arena, "Oh, he did buy Jay Z's (share)? Well, I guess if it's 100 dollars or less, it's not a big deal."

Cuban once held a yearlong grudge against Kidd after the then-point guard verbally committed to re-sign with the Mavericks for three years, $9 million, only to back out and go to the New York Knicks for the same offer.

But the two have since patched up things.

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