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Big spending doesn't always pay off. Just ask the New York Knicks. The Knicks, who missed the playoffs last season with a 33-49 mark, were strapped with a $45 million luxury-tax bill Friday. That means New York owes almost $40 million more than the second-highest paying team in the Mavs, who finished with the league's best record.
In the Knicks' case?
The payment due by July 25, according to a league memo distributed this week to all 30 teams: $45 million and change.
That's $45-plus million for a team that went 33-49 and missed the playoffs for a third successive season. It was team president Isiah Thomas' first season as Knicks coach, following a 23-59 nightmare under Larry Brown, with New York going 4-14 to slip out of playoff contention after Thomas received a contract extension on March 12.
The next closest tax bill is the Dallas Mavericks' $7.2 million.
Teams that carried a payroll higher than $65.42 million for the 2006-07 season are required to pay a dollar-for-dollar tax on every dollar over that threshold.
The 25 non-tax-paying teams, meanwhile, will each receive 1/30 of the cumulative tax amount, which computes to nearly $1.9 million per team.
Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here.