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Latest Analysis Shows Nets Lost $64 Million

Sports Business Journal reports Monday that its analysis of Forest City Enterprises annual report indicates the Nets lost $64 million in fiscal 2009, ending January 31.  Forest City, based in Cleveland, is the parent company of Forest City Ratner, Bruce Ratner's development company. 

SBJ reports that of the $64 million in losses, $50 million "substantially relates to the operations of the team."  Forest City, which owns 23 per cent of the Nets, is responsible for 68 per cent of the losses. 

During the opening of labor negotiations last month, David Stern said the league's 30 teams can expect to lose $400 million this year, seemingly making the Nets losses a substantial portion of the league's overall losses. The Nets are one of the few NBA teams required to disclose its finances.

As part of his agreement to purchase the Nets, Mikhail Prokhorov has promised to eat up to $60 million in team losses while they remain in New Jersey.  The Nets expect to lose less money in Newark, then make a profit in  Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, a league spokesman declined to comment further on a Post report that one of Prokhorov's companies had invested in Zimbabwe despite US sanctions.  FanHouse reports the NBA did defend Prokhorov's background check, calling it "very extensive and stringent" and reiterated that nothing disclosed caused the NBA pause in its recommendation of approval to the other 29 team owners. Prokhorov needs 23 of 29 votes to be approved by the league.