Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, who vowed to bring the team to prominence in the NBA when he bought it in 2010, is savoring the first major step, ESPN New York reported.

The Nets, by virtue of the Philadelphia 76ers’ last-second loss Thursday to the Denver Nuggets, clinched their first playoff berth since 2007.

“Of course I’m pleased the Nets have made the playoffs, but I can’t say I’m surprised,” Prokhorov said in a statement. “We have a lot of talent which is really coming together now and starting to gel. I am confident that the team’s best days on the court are still ahead.”

The Nets clinched the 17th playoff berth in their 37-season NBA history after spending $330 million this offseason to retain Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries and trade for Joe Johnson.

When Prokhorov acquired majority ownership of the franchise in May 2010, he said his goal was to win a championship in five years

The Nets have only three years to make that happen, but making the playoffs is a necessary first step.