Jazz have lost $25M over last two seasons

Updated: May 13, 2006, 5:57 PM ET
Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY -- On the last day of regular NBA play last month, the Utah Jazz reached a break-even record for the season.

Financially, however, they're not even close. The team was more than $10 million in the red, according to owner Larry Miller. And losses for the last two seasons combined approach $25 million, Miller said.

"We're losing a lot of money. Huge numbers," Miller said of the team he has owned for 21 seasons. "Blow-your-mind numbers."

Miller says the losses are painful, but concedes, they're self-inflicted pain.

During the summer of 2004, Miller authorized a quarter-billion dollars in long-term contracts to Jazz players, including $86 million to Andrei Kirilenko, $68 million to Carlos Boozer and $50 million to Mehmet Okur.

That doubled the team's payroll, but Miller hopes those players will eventually put the team in championship contention.

"Being competitive on the floor is important to us, and we believe we are headed in the right direction," Miller said. "You have to be smart about it, and I think we have been. This [loss], it's an eight-digit number. ... But it's something we were prepared for."


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press