Nets owner Prokhorov no longer cares about the Knicks

LAS VEGAS – When Mikhail Prokhorov first bought the Nets, he immediately vowed to “turn Knick fans into Nets fans.”

After last weekend’s free-agency coup of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan, the Russian billionaire told The Post that Brooklyn is aiming a lot higher than just the struggling Knicks.

“We don’t set the takeover of New York as our goal,” the 54-year-old Prokhorov said. “We’re about steadily developing a team that, at some point in the not-too-distant future, will get us a championship.”

The Nets should be in the mix to do just that whenever Durant returns from his Achilles surgery, either late this season or next season.

Prokhorov bought the team in 2010, and — after tepid support in New Jersey — moved it to Brooklyn.

In July 2017, The Post reported that Prokhorov was interested in selling a controlling stake; and when he engaged Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai as a potential buyer, the blueprint he pitched was developing a core of young players and landing a free-agent superstar.

Consider it mission exceeded.

Prokhorov’s Nets didn’t just land two-time NBA Finals MVP Durant — arguably the best player in the NBA, and now the biggest star in New York — but All-NBA guard in Irving as well. When he sells the remainder of the team to Tsai, he’ll hand over a better team than he found.

“I feel extremely lucky to come into this situation when I do have an opportunity to take over the team — exercising the option — I feel like I’ve inherited something that’s very, very good, that’s kind of passed on from the prior ownership,” Tsai told The Post. “And that’s a fine situation to be in.”

Prokhorov confirmed that was part of the pitch and the plan— but not all of it.

“Part of the strategy over the last three years was to develop a good roster of young players and clear cap space to get some big-name talent, which is exactly what we have done,” said Prokhorov. “But there’s much more to the picture than that.

“Sean [Marks] and Kenny [Atkinson] have built tremendous infrastructure, whether it’s within the coaching staff, medical team, physical training — you name it. And the culture has changed significantly. We’re now more about our own step-by-step achievements than what others are doing that could distract us.”

And as Nets point guard and noted Knick-troller Spencer Dinwiddie has also stated, their goals should be greater than their struggling crosstown rivals.

The Nets’ goal should be to win a title, and they have a four-year window with Durant, Irving and Jordan all under contract. Prokhorov won’t be around for all that span, with Tsai telling The Post he can take a controlling interest in January 2021 — or midseason of Durant’s first full healthy season back. But Prokhorov is convinced the Nets are on the right path to repaying their fans’ patience.

“We greatly appreciate the fans in New York and are grateful for their support and patience,” he said. “Of course we want to repay this trust with a team that is truly worthy of it, and I am confident we are well on the way to doing so.”

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