Pro sports has never in its history faced a weirder situation than that of the Brooklyn Nets, now that Russia has invaded and annexed the Crimea. Whether you're sympathetic to the idea of national reunification or not (and I can easily sympathize with the Russian people on this issue), the glaring fact remains that the act is in violation both of international law and specifically signed diplomatic agreements. No less a personage than Hillary Clinton has compared the invasion to those of Adolf Hitler.
Which is where Mikhail Prokhorov comes in. Russian oligarch owner of the Brooklyn Nets, he has fully supported Putin in this and most of his other dictatorial grabs and abuses of power inside Russia. It's true that he once ran against Putin in an election, but it was strictly as a crony for show. Fearful of Obama's timid sanctions, Prokhorov has transferred ownership of the Nets and the Barclay Center to a Russian holding company. That effectively means they are Russian., just as the Al-Jazeera News Network belongs to the Al-Qaeda-supporting Emirate of Qatar
I personally believe that the City of New York and the NBA need to act in concert to exercise imminent domain and seize the assets and operations of both the Nets and the BC (America's highest-grossing arena) until this situation is diplomatically resolved.. Until then, as was the case with the Hornets, the League should keep the team in escrow and sell it off if no resolution is reached. It is an insult to non-Russian Eastern Europeans all over the world to conduct business as usual. It is also an extremely bad precedent to set. How many antagonist states do we want operating businesses in the US? Should Kim Jong IL be allowed a Seattle NBA franchise? Should Iran own and operate an NFL team in LA? Should Mexican cartels be allowed majority ownership of CNN?
I plan to boycott the Nets from this point forward. Permanently and fully, as long as they are part of the New Russian Reich, whether the Wizards face them in the playoffs or not (which is unlikely). What you choose to do is a matter for your own conscience.
It's really ugly when politics invade sports. I feel bad even bringing the matter up. But this situation is historically unprecedented and needs to be addressed.