Playboy NBA owner bets his bachelorhood against his losing team

Mikhail Prokhorov became an NBA team owner in 2010 when he bought the Nets.

(CNN)Five years ago, the most eligible bachelor in sports promised to get married if his basketball team didn't win a championship by 2015. They didn't, making things slightly awkward for the owner of the Brooklyn Nets.

Mikhail Prokhorov -- once known as the wealthiest man in Russia -- made a splash in 2010 when he purchased the then-ailing New Jersey Nets by making a promise to its fans.
"If the Nets don't win the NBA championship within five years, I will punish myself by getting married," he told the New York Post, adding that his ideal woman would be "beautiful, smart, sexy and makes a mean bowl of borscht."
Prokhorov's prospective love interests were on high alert midway through last season when the team got off to a lackluster 16-23 start. Eventually the Nets found their footing and snuck into the playoffs as the eight seed, only to sink to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round.
    All of a sudden, it was time for the 6-foot 8-inch Russian to deliver.
    Prokhorov left a video message on the team's website, updating Nets' fans on offseason moves as well as his marital status.
    "One thing remains constant, and make no mistake about it. We're here to win, and we'll do whatever we can, together with all of you who are rooting for us," he said in the video, before getting to the point.
    LeBron: from the hard court to the big screen.
    LeBron James movie Trainwreck_00011019


      LeBron: from the hard court to the big screen.


    LeBron: from the hard court to the big screen. 02:14
    "And one more note: you may remember my promise to get married if we didn't win a championship within five years. Sadly to say, five years have passed," he said, before managing to slip out of his obligation with a surprise announcement.
    "Today, I am very happy to say that NBA commissioner Adam Silver has agreed to take the plunge in my place," he said, referring to the 53-year-old NBA chief who recently completed his first full season in charge.
    "Adam, you are a much better man than me. Thank you very much, and I wish you and your new bride every happiness," he said, without indicating whether Silver was complicit in his alibi.
    In 2012, the 50-year-old mining magnate teamed up with minority owner Jay-Z to orchestrate a high-profile move into a sparkling new arena in Brooklyn -- a huge jump for the historically underachieving Nets, accustomed to playing in swampland 16 miles outside of Manhattan.

    Fantastic brunch meeting #nyc #brooklyn #nets @mikebloomberg @brooklynnets @thegoodlifeinc

    A photo posted by Mikhail Prokhorov (@mikhailprokhorov) on

    He also plunked down several hundred million dollars in player signings, many of which -- namely his five year $98.7 million deal for guard Deron Williams -- were duds.
    Golden State Warriors win NBA Championship
    Golden State Warriors win NBA Championship


      Golden State Warriors win NBA Championship


    Golden State Warriors win NBA Championship 01:09
    Prokhorov, who is worth $8.7 billion according to Forbes, ran against Vladimir Putin for the Russian presidency in 2012, gaining 8% of the vote. Shortly after, he founded Russia's Civic Platform Party.
    In the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, Prokhorov pulled out of a commitment to buy a South-of-France mansion for $530 million -- forfeiting his $53 million deposit in the process.
    Backing out of that promise required far more than releasing a video statement, with Prokhorov losing a two-year legal battle for the 10% deposit.
    For the likes of Prokhorov, keeping your options open is apparently never a bad thing.