The Brooklyn Nets and Mikhail Prokhorov will be paying a looooot of money back to the NBA after next season.
Due to the new luxury tax system where owners pay more if they spend more, estimates have the Nets paying between $72 million and $80 million in luxury taxes alone. That is on top of their over $100 million in player salary.
Because of the new tax system, the Nets will break the NBA record for luxury taxes, previously held by the Portland Trail Blazers, who paid $52 million in taxes in 2002-03. Had the NBA still been using the previous taxing system, Prokhorov would only have to pay an estimated $26 million.
So basically, with the way the system works now, really, really rich owners are paying simply rich owners money because the rosters of the really, really rich owners are too expensive. All the luxury tax money that Mikhail Prokhorov is paying is going right back into the hands of other NBA owners, most of which are approaching if not over the salary cap themselves.
And to make things clear, no owner in the NBA needs any more money than they already have. So why doesn’t the NBA put the luxury tax money to good use?
My HoopIdea is that instead of paying back owners, the NBA should donate all the luxury tax money to a charity of the team’s choice. Prokhorov could donate his $80 million in luxury taxes to help improve public schools in Brooklyn. Just imagine what that would do for the community and how it would improve education.
And not only would the community be happy with the teams giving money back to the city, but it would earn the team fans, fans who will continue to support the team by buying tickets and merchandise for years! Everybody wins!
Additionally, this could solve the NBA’s image problem. Even though the league’s image is not nearly as bad as it was even 10 or 15 years ago thanks to programs like NBA Cares, what do people really want more than money? Nothing, and through this luxury tax system, the NBA will be giving them money.
The only people who would be against this of course would be the owners of the other 29 NBA teams as well as the league’s front office. But people are instinctively greedy, and they will get over it.
So to recap, here is the series of events that would take place:
1. Team spends a lot of money on its roster to try to build a contender.
2. Team goes over the salary cap and into the luxury tax.
3. Team donates its luxury tax money back to the community or to any charity of its choice.
4. Community is improved.
5. Community appreciates the team giving money back and the team gains fans.
6. NBA drastically improves its image.