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Guess what: Prokhorov's business associates buff boss to Daily News sports reporter; Russian author suggests "gambler" Prokhorov, even if part of an "arrangement," could shake things up

Daily News Nets beat reporter Stefan Bondy takes a dip into politics, with High-stakes one-on-one Nets owner has game to dunk on Vladmir Putin: Prokhorov is shrewd, tough, a good athlete and very rich.

His sources, in total:
  • Chris Charlier, deputy CEO of Prokhorov’s holding company Onexim Group
  • Nets coach Avery Johnson
  • Onexim Sports & Entertainment President Irina Pavlova
What, Nets p.r. couldn't arrange an interview with opposition politician Boris Nemstov, who calls Prokhorov a Kremlin stooge?

Another voice

Elsewhere in the Daily News, Valery Panyushkin, author of “Twelve Who Don’t Agree: The Battle for Freedom in Putin’s Russia,” suggests Prokhorov can open up things.

He acknowledges, in Putin has met his match: Billionaire Prokhorov will push Russia closer to democracy , that the game is rigged:
It means that Prokhorov has made an arrangement with the Kremlin. He will be a sparring partner for Putin. His task will be to attract the protest votes of the middle class and intellectuals, who would otherwise have gone to the leader of the Communist Party, Gennady Zyuganov.
But he sees an opening for "gambler" Prokhorov:
Now the gambler enters the political arena to play along with Putin. But as soon as possible, he will play his own game.

In any case, even if Prokhorov does not have a chance and Putin wins, it will be another Putin. Not the Putin apathetically supported by 70% of the population. A Putin who barely won the election, a Putin who must fend off a rival billionaire, a Putin who on the squares of Moscow will face hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, of protesters.