The 2021-22 Brooklyn Nets season has gone a sports and financial disaster. Many times, one thing goes hand in hand with another, especially in projects as monumental as this one, a team called to be unstoppable and that ended up arriving at playoffs through the cathole of play in and being there swept by the Celtics in the first round (4-0).
It is one of the great disappointments in the entire history of the NBA, a team marked by instability and problems: a knee injury to Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated, their disagreements with a James Harden who ended up being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, in exchange for a Ben Simmons who did not play due to back problems that now they have sent him to the operating room and whose management, in terms of communication, led to a media farce in full playoffs.
are already three years of the Durant/Irving project without a single step even by a conference final, a resounding failure, for now, even counting on the fact that Durant did not play in the entire first year after signing injured, after going through the operating room after the 2019 Finals, in which the Achilles tendon was still torn with the Warriors. The lack of sports impact has prevented the franchise from approaching, or even trying to, the historic and omnipresent Knicks in the New York market, and that despite the fact that their last season has also been a disaster. And the result, according to The New York Post, they are losses for the Nets and the Barclays Center in a range of “between 50 and 100 million dollars”.
There is always controversy with the assessment of losses in the NBA. Not usually included are the tax advantages that come from owning a professional franchise and from which, in this case, Joe Tsai, co-founder and vice president of Alibaba, benefits. The revaluation as an asset of the franchise itself is not taken into account: Tsai invested 2,350 million in a process (2017-19) that made him end up as the main owner. The Nets are now valued at $3.2 billion.
But it is clear that the situation can become unsustainable if the sports results do not arrive: the Nets spent this season on their staff 267 million. 169 in wages and almost 100 (about 98) in luxury tax which is paid when it is exceeded (more if it is repeated in consecutive seasons) salary capthe salary limit established to invest in player salaries. It is the highest figure with permission from the Warriors, who go to 346 million (176 in salaries and 170 in luxury tax). But the Warriors, in dizzying numbers, are at least in the second round of playoffs and they are heavy favorites in their series against the Grizzlies (which is 1-1). The Nets didn’t even win a game in playoffs and they were swept away in the first round and shaken by the off-sports fuss.