“You expect flamboyant wastefulness and outrageously shitty taste from Russian oligarchs,” wrote David Roth in this very space in March of 2008, “but Shabtai von Kalmanovic isn’t about show horses or dipping random things around his house in platinum or competitive jet-sailing or whatever it is that tacky ultra-billionaires do. He is more of a Diana Taurasi guy.” As of yesterday, however, the owner of the Spartak Moscow women’s hoops team was spectacularly whacked. From The Age’s Sergei Lokio :

Kalmanovic was killed near Moscow’s Novodevichy monastery on Monday when assailants in a Lada sedan pulled beside his black Mercedes-Benz and opened fire, the Vesti television news program reported. Mr Kalmanovic died instantly. His driver was injured.

”Submachine-guns and shotguns were used in the attack,” Moscow prosecutor’s office investigator Anatoly Bagmet said.

”The car was in motion when shots were fired.”

The attackers fired at least 20 rounds at the businessman’s car, a police source said.

Mr Kalmanovic, 61, had invested millions of dollars into the Spartak, a women’s professional basketball team that won the EuroLeague Women title the past three seasons. He hired stars of the Women’s National Basketball Association to play during the American league’s off-season, paying them as much as 10 times their US salary.

Since there’s nothing quite as guffaw-worthy as a mob hit, I’ll leave the last word to NY Post funnyman Peter Vescey who observed, “the shooting evidently was a contract (guaranteed or a 10-day?) killing.  Think how bad a day it would’ve turned out for Kalmanovich had someone randomly emptied a clip in him.”