Forbes wants you to know they still don’t buy owners’ math

16 Comments

It has been one of the more interesting sidebars to the entire NBA lockout:

From the start the NBA owners have said they lost $300 million last year, $400 million the year before and money pretty much every year in the past decade. The players and plenty of others have called that, um, well let’s say fertilizer. They note that the losses include debt service on loans to buy teams and when owners do things like own the arena and team there’s plenty of ways to have the money shift pockets.

In an article at Forbes.com Wednesday talking about the lockout math, the magazine once again took shots at the owners’ claims of loss. (Hat tip to Zach Lowe.)

When you tally the aggregate projected operating incomes of all 30 NBA teams, this yields a surplus of $182.6 million. Granted, Forbes may not be privy to all the financial data that ultimately determine a team’s financial position…and their estimates have come under scrutiny before for this reason.

But $482.6 million off? That seems a stretch. Even if Forbes’ operating income estimates are inflated by 25% (which I seriously doubt), you’re still looking at $137 million in aggregate profits.

I don’t think you’ll find anyone who isn’t paid to slide on an NBA uniform who didn’t think the old NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement needed changing. There were issues. But the idea that the owners needed to damage the game like this because of the massive financial losses they incurred remains questionable. At best. Which makes their hardline fighting all the more ridiculous.