Thursday, November 27, 2003
Nets responsible for payments to Mourning
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New Jersey Nets will have to
pay Alonzo Mourning $22.6 million over the next four years because
they were unable to insure the guaranteed contract due to the
center's kidney disease.
Nets president Rod Thorn said in a telephone interview with The
Associated Press on Wednesday that the Nets are responsible for the
payments to Mourning, who earlier this week left the game because
his illness worsened. The seven-time All-Star center needs a kidney
The added financial burden comes just months after the Nets
spent $25 million to $30 million to buy out the contract of center
Dikembe Mutombo, who spent one disappointing, injury-marred season
with the team.
Thorn said the financial burden would not be an obstacle to
selling the team.
"Everyone who is trying to buy the team is well aware of the
situation," Thorn said when asked if Mourning's illness might make
the team harder to sell.
YankeeNets, the sports conglomerate that runs the Nets, has
received four bids for the team, reportedly ranging from $250
million to $275 million.
Thorn said the Nets cannot remove Mourning from their salary cap
until July 2005, at the earliest. New Jersey is going to have to
pay more than $10 million in luxury taxes because of its salary cap