It’s a good thing Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is worth $10.9 billion, because his team was nine digits in the red for the 2013-14 season.
ESPN’s Grantland reports the team lost $144 million last season, according to a confidential memo the site obtained.
The second-highest losing team was the Wizards, who lost $13 million.
The Nets have certainly made no secret as to how they would conduct business under the Russian billionaire, who purchased an 80 percent stake in the team in May 2010. He also owns a 45 percent stake in the Barclays Center.
The $144 million loss only accounts for basketball-related revenue — or lack thereof — however.
Prokhorov has had no problem spending money, or admitting he expected to operate well above the salary cap in his quest to win a title.
Brooklyn had the highest payroll in the NBA in 2013-14 at $102.3 million. Joe Johnson ($21.4 million), Deron Williams ($18.4 million), Paul Pierce ($15.3 million), Brook Lopez ($14.6 million) and Kevin Garnett ($12.4 million) all made over $10 million last season.
The 2013-14 salary cap was set at $58.679 million, while the luxury tax threshold was $71.748 million. Teams $20 million over the luxury tax — as the Nets were — pay $3.25 on the dollar plus $0.50 for each $5 million. The Nets were approximately $30 million over the luxury tax threshold and therefore paid about $100 million in luxury tax alone and just north of $200 million in overall tax and salary.
No other team paid remotely as high a penalty. The Knicks had the second-highest payroll in the league at $89 million. The world champion Spurs had the 18th-highest salary at $64 million, though their cap hit was $75.6 million (largely due to a $6.9 million cap hit for the retired Robert Horry).
Prokhorov will be breaking out the checkbook again in 2014-15, as the Nets are already at $88 million — some $11 million over the 2014-15 luxury tax — in salary heading into free agency.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.