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Grantland: Nets are NBA's biggest losers

6/30/2014

The Brooklyn Nets lost $131 million more than any other team, according to a confidential NBA memo obtained by Grantland.

The memo, which only takes into account basketball-related activities of each team’s business, projects that the Nets will have lost $144 million during the 2013-14 season. The Washington Wizards were second on the list, losing $13 million.

Nine teams were projected to have lost money last season once luxury-tax distribution and revenue-sharing payments are finalized.

The Nets, who are owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, spent nearly $200 million in payroll and luxury taxes on their roster last season.

"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. 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," Irina Pavlova, president of Onexim Sports and Entertainment, said in a statement.

This news comes on the same day the Nets traded Jason Kidd’s coaching rights to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for two second-round picks.

Kidd had tried to make a power play in Brooklyn, asking ownership to allow him to assume control of personnel decisions in addition to his coaching duties, but he was rebuffed.

Kidd’s relationship with Nets general manager Billy King had been “strained,” sources told ESPNNewYork.com, dating back to when King recommended that ownership make a coaching change back in December when Brooklyn got off to a 10-21 start. That didn’t happen, and the Nets turned their season around, finishing the regular season 34-17 to qualify for the playoffs. They were eventually ousted in the second round by the Miami Heat.

The Grantland report suggests that during that same time period Kidd went to ownership with concerns about King’s job performance, and wanted an outsider to come in and take position above King.

The report says Kidd was approached about going to the Bucks earlier this month.

Kidd, according to the report, impressed higher-ups in the Nets organization when he banished Andray Blatche for four games due to “personal reasons.” Kidd really was upset about Blatche’s conditioning and preparedness, sources told Grantland.