What do you do when you’re the 32nd richest man in the world?
Buy one of the world’s biggest yachts then lose it?
Party so hard that French authorities arrest you for (and I am not making this up) “Suspicion of Pimping?”
Please! So after all of that what does Mikhail Prokhorov, richest man in Russia at the tender age of 46 actually have to do to top his already amazing life?
Run for President.
Yesterday the owner of the New Jersey Nets announced that he will run against Vladimir Putin in the Russian Presidential elections that will take place on March 4, 2012. Mind you, Prokhorov did not make this decision lightly, taking on Putin and his party is considered a considerable risk, and should he lose and Putin get re-elected the financial consequences of being Putin’s enemy could be dire. Let’s not even talk about the risks of going back home and, instead, ending up in some Siberian prison cell. Putin doesn’t play that – and he’s got a Superpower-equipped military and para-military police force (plus former KGB contacts) to prove it. This is the guy who likes to take his photos with his rifle in hand.
However, Prokhorov is no slouch himself, having navigated the murky mafia-ridden Russian political and economic system for years. This billionaire with the basketball team in the boroughs knows a thing or two about how to get ahead in mother Russia.
Although, I must admit, it’s hard to imagine a man who claims to not own a cell phone and who refuses to have a computer in his office really shaking it up in an era of modern political campaigns, even in Russia. The worst thing about it is that he’s not an old guy. Ultimately, though, this just might be one of the hottest races in 2012 to watch beyond the American presidential election. I’m already searching for courtside seats.