So, New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is going to run for the Russian Presidency against incumbnet Vladimir Putin. In Russian terms, that's about the equivalent of stepping into North Jersey, and announcing that you are going to supplant Tony Soprano as acting boss. It could get you "whacked"!
There are a lot of stories that have swirled around about Putin, and whether or not they are true, false or just greatly exaggerated, it doesn't change the fact that they are better stories than we'll ever get from any of our elected leaders. If Prokhorov is serious about challenging the Russian bad-ass, he might want to take some of these little tales under consideration.
1. Reportedly, when wildfires ravaged the Ryazan region of Russia in 2010, Putin didn't just appear in front of a camera to calm the fears of residents. Instead, he was seen in the front of a Beriev BE-200 amphibious aircraft attempting to kill the fire himself. The Prime Minister took this natural disaster's attack on his country as a personal attack and aimed the plane directly at the fire from the co-pilot's seat and doused the flames. I'm not sure even Ronald Reagan would have gone that far!
2. In 2008 Putin visited Ussuri national park with a camera crew to see a tiger that was trapped. Much to the chagrin of the onlookers, the tiger became "untrapped" and ran loose. Rather than turn tail and run from the hungry cat, Putin grabbed a tranquilizer pistol, dropped the tiger, and then helped measure its teeth. As if facing a wild jungle predator and tranquing it wasn't enough.
3. On an official trade visit to Japan in 2003, Putin took time out from negotiations to play Mr. Miyagi with Japan. In the Kodokan judo headquarters of Japan, right in front of the Japanese Prime Minister, Putin showed he wasn't afraid of showing up the Japanese in their own sport. He donned his gi and showed everyone his various sweeps and moves in a sparring mach with the Kodokan instructor. In fact, he's the only world leader with his own special move (Haraigoshi). Qaddafi had to pay foreigners to fight his own people. Putin would most likely want to personally crush any uprising with his own sweat and round kicks.
So, this is the guy you want to run against, Mr. Prokhorov? Might want to just concentrate on that salary cap issue with the Nets, and see if it's not too late to land Dwight Howard. Or, perhaps Putin would be kind enough to come over and just win the NBA Championship on his own for you. I'd be willing to be he's got the chops!