In Russia $144 million loses you
The Brooklyn Nets had a payroll and luxury tax obligation that combined to be just about $190 million. It was a crazy amount and easily an NBA record and, as it turns out, it ended up costing them $144 million, according to Zach Lowe of Grantland.
“Nets ownership has said from day one that the main goal was putting together a championship caliber team, and that no effort would be spared to this end,” Irina Pavlova said in a statement on behalf of the Nets. “So, it should come as no surprise to anyone that significant investments have been made in the roster and in upgrading basketball operations on all fronts. We are certain that the team will become profitable in time, as planned.”
That a crazy amount and $131 more than the 2nd worst team, the Washington Wizards, who ended up $13 million in the red. Now these numbers are from “basketball activities only” so Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov isn’t exactly losing $144 million. It doesn’t count money he makes as owner of the Barclays Center.
Even with all of the other ways Prokhorov makes money off the team it’s still a big loss, but one they knew that he knew he was taking. He sees the big picture here and realizes that the team’s value matters over all. That’s what drives him to want a championship so badly as he sees it as the best way to raise the team’s value.
So he gambled. He told general manager Billy King to go out and trade a ton of draft picks for over-the-hill players in Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. It didn’t exactly work. The Nets got further in the playoffs, but only by one round and never were really considered a legitimate title threat.
The value of the team has still skyrocketed despite the lackluster performance in the playoffs. In 2011 the then New Jersey Nets were worth $312 million, or 21st in the NBA. In 2013 that jumped to $530 million, or 9th overall. Most recently, the Brooklyn Nets were worth $780 million, or 5th in the NBA. That’s a jump of $468 million in three years (which is about the same as a brownstone in Bed-Stuy). Prokhorov reportedly purchased the team for $233 million in 2010. He owns 80 percent. If he sold it today he could profit $391 million.