Nuggets Losing $$$ on A.I.?

12.19.07 10 years ago 18 Comments

There was pretty much a sold decade’s worth of time where Allen Iverson was one of basketball’s most bankable athletes. Where A.I. played – home or away – tickets sold. A lot. But it appears that may no longer be the case. In light of THIS, Denver’s Rocky Mountain News ran a story about how the Nuggets may have actually lost money since trading for Iverson.

There are several reasons, apparently, for the loss – new contracts, luxury tax penalties, and … the Rockies?

Forbes Magazine reported the Nuggets had an operating loss last season of $4.8 million, the NBA’s fifth largest. In its previous annual report, Forbes reported the team had an operating gain of $9.4 million in 2005-06.

Andrews wouldn’t comment on Forbes’ figures, calling them “speculation” and saying, as a private company, the Nuggets don’t have to release financial information.

Iverson made $17.2 million last season and is earning $19 million this season. The Nuggets, with the NBA’s third-highest payroll at more than $83 million, are in line to exceed the luxury tax this season by more than $15 million.

The Iverson trade has resulted in the Nuggets this season taking on roughly $20 million more since they dealt Andre Miller, who has a salary-cap figure of $9.4 million, and Joe Smith, whose contract expired after last season. With the salaries of Miller and Iverson about $10 million apart, the dollar-for-dollar luxury tax makes the extra burden about $20 million.

“There’s always pressure,” Nuggets coach George Karl said when asked if owner Stan Kroenke’s big spending has resulted in the need to win big soon. “Is there more because of the tax? Probably.”

Attendance has gone up since Iverson arrived, but only by 1.4 percent when the one- year span is considered. The Nuggets have averaged 17,204 fans in 44 regular-season home games since the Iverson trade compared with 16,966 in the 44 regular-season games before the deal.

“I would think so,” Nuggets center Marcus Camby said when asked if he thought attendance would have increased more with Iverson. “But the Rockies had a great year, (and) there are a lot of loyal Broncos fans here. . . . We know when the Lakers come to town . . . the arena is going to be packed. But when we have the Portlands here or those other lower teams, they don’t seem to come out much.”

Check out the full article HERE.

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