Mark Deeks of the indispensable ShamSports put together a spreadsheet that shows how much each NBA team paid in luxury tax per year. If you have five minutes, it is worth a look and it goes without saying that the Knicks are heavily involved. These are some of the interesting Knick tidbits that I gleaned.
- Since the 2002-03 season the Knicks have the highest luxury tax bill at $195 million followed by the Mavs at $150 mil, Blazers at $89 mil, Lakers at $84 mil, and Celtics at $46 mil.
- The Knicks have paid 23% of the $853 million that all NBA teams have paid.
- After the 2006-07 season the Knicks paid slightly over $45 million in taxes, which represented 81% of the entire NBA luxury tax. They won 33 games that year.
- If the luxury tax rules beginning in 2013-14 were in effect since 2002-03, the Knicks $195 million bill would have ballooned to over $590 million.
- That $590 million would be even higher if the repeater tax was included.
- The Knicks have won 327 games starting in the 2002-03 season and have paid $714 million in payroll and luxury taxes costing them $2,180,000 per win.
- In comparison, the Spurs have won 568 games during the same period and paid $544 million in payroll and luxury taxes costing them $958,000 per win.
I’m guessing that the Knicks have paid the most per win while the Spurs have paid the least. Those totals also don’t count the $12 million the Knicks owed Chauncey Billups under the new amnesty rule or the $21 million they paid Jerome Williams under the “Alan Houston Rule.” The Spurs didn’t amnesty anyone either time.
The gap would be even bigger if coaches and front office salaries were factored. If you recall, the Knicks ended up paying Larry Brown $28 million (between salary and settlement) to coach one season, and there was a point when Donnie Walsh, Mike D’Antoni, and Isiah Thomas were employed by the Knicks at the same time while earning $5 million each. Oh yeah, there was also a sexual harassment lawsuit that personally cost Dolan another $3 million and the Knicks organization $8 million.
(And I am not counting the money the Knicks have included in trades compared to the Spurs or the checks the Spurs got for being under the luxury tax some years. Add it all up and the Knicks could be paying three times per win as the Spurs. Again the Spurs are probably the most efficient/best using this criterion while the Knicks are probably the worst.)
The Knicks organization has been much more fiscally responsible and hasn’t paid the luxury tax in two seasons (and three seasons ago the bill was “only” $5 million). So not matching on Lin jives with the team’s more recent history. I can’t believe I am saying this, but it would have been nice for them to flex some of that financial muscle like in the Layden/Isiah days.