Knicks top list of teams to pay luxury tax

Updated: October 29, 2007, 12:16 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

The New York Knicks can't be feeling very lucky on this Friday The Thirteenth.

Show Me The Money

Big spending doesn't always pay off. Just ask the New York Knicks. The Knicks, who missed the playoffs last season with a 33-49 mark, were strapped with a $45 million luxury-tax bill Friday. That means New York owes almost $40 million more than the second-highest paying team in the Mavs, who finished with the league's best record.

Team Money Owed
1. Knicks $45,142,002
2. Mavs $7,204,968
3. Nuggets $2,022,418
4. T-Wolves $998,536
5. Spurs $196,082
By the end of this business day, you see, each of the NBA's five luxury-tax-paying teams from last season will have received an official invoice from the league stating the "net" amount they must remit.

In the Knicks' case?

The payment due by July 25, according to a league memo distributed this week to all 30 teams: $45 million and change.

That's $45-plus million for a team that went 33-49 and missed the playoffs for a third successive season. It was team president Isiah Thomas' first season as Knicks coach, following a 23-59 nightmare under Larry Brown, with New York going 4-14 to slip out of playoff contention after Thomas received a contract extension on March 12.

The next closest tax bill is the Dallas Mavericks' $7.2 million.

Teams that carried a payroll higher than $65.42 million for the 2006-07 season are required to pay a dollar-for-dollar tax on every dollar over that threshold.

The 25 non-tax-paying teams, meanwhile, will each receive 1/30 of the cumulative tax amount, which computes to nearly $1.9 million per team.

Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics