Philadelphia, PA - The New York Knicks are still making more money than the Brooklyn Nets despite their relatively inferior player acquisitions and their failure to make the playoffs. The Knicks appeared to have made a turn for the better under new coaching and management, having played postseason basketball last term. But they were back to being mediocre in 2021/22, finishing 11th in the Eastern Conference.
The Knicks Are Still The Cash Kings Of New York
The Nets didn’t have a significantly better regular season and had to force their way via the play-in. Of course, that was mostly due to them not having Kyrie Irving for most of the campaign, as well as losing James Harden in exchange for a replacement who didn’t play any basketball this season.
Brooklyn, though, is far more attractive as a basketball spectacle and boasts two of the best players in today’s game in Irving and partner in crime Kevin Durant. It remains to be seen how things pan out once Ben Simmons starts playing, whenever that is.
While they made it to the playoffs, the Nets, NBA title favorites from before the beginning of the season, ended up being the only team to get swept in the first round, bowing out to the Boston Celtics. The Knicks have probably never been favored for a title by the bookies since online betting arrived in New York.
Nets owner Joe Tsai couldn’t have been pleased. But he must have been even more upset to learn that the Knicks’ books outperformed his although they did not even make it past the regular season.
A report from the New York Post claims James Dolan’s Knicks made him more money than the Nets made Tsai during the season, with the team making around $900,000 more than the Nets made in gate receipts every game.
The Knicks play in the NBA’s biggest market and have a loyal fan base, but you’d think that a team with Irving and Durant under its employ would be able to bring more fans into its arena than one led by Julius Randle and RJ Barrett.
As it turned out, the Knicks had the hotter ticket in New York, hosting an average of 18,621 fans per game while the Nets brought in 17,354. That left Dolan pocketing $3 million per game in gate receipts, which marks a nine percent rise from 2018.19. The Nets, on the other hand, made $2.1 million every game, which is still a lot better than what they used to make before landing Kyrie and Kevin.
The Nets were selling around 15,000 tickets to the tune of $1 million per game - after giveaways - before the players chose to sign with them instead of the Knicks. Their recent earnings actually represent the biggest jump in the league and are also joint with that of the Phoenix Suns, who have become an NBA powerhouse again after finishing with the best record for two consecutive seasons.
Tsai, however, is losing money after buying the Nets and the Barclays Center for a record $2.35 billion in 2019. The team has the second-highest payroll in the NBA following their signing of Irving and Durant to max deals.
A whopping $172,836,362 was the sum that bankrolled the team this year, with a $97,731,568. Dolan, meanwhile, spent just $120,376,240 funding the league’s third-lowest payroll and avoiding luxury tax. The Nets are said to have lost the most money in the league this season.
“The Nets and Barclays Center lost between $50 million and $100 million combined in the 2021-22 season, giving Tsai perhaps the worst financial losses in the NBA, sources with close knowledge of the situation told The Post,” the aforementioned publication reports.
“Tsai believed that after he bought the Nets and Barclays in August 2019 he could make it into a state-of-the-art operation like Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant he co-founded and which made him worth roughly $10 billion. Instead, his prior success has not translated to the hardwood.”
The Taiwanese billionaire has since gotten rid of CEO of Brooklyn Sports Entertainment John Abbamondi and is searching for his third top business executive in as many years. He and general manager Sean Marks have some big decisions to make, especially where it comes to Irving, who has had to shoulder most of the blame for the Nets failed season.
Dolan and Knicks president Leon Rose have some key decisions to make as well, with Barrett and Mitchell Robinson eligible for extensions. The former can be extended for up to five years for $181 million this summer while the latter is eligible for a four-year max of $58 million until the end of June.
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If they are not extended, Barrett will become an unrestricted free agent after next season while Robinson will be this July.