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Leonsis: NHL in better shape than NBA

May 21, 2010, 4:23 PM EDT

ted leonsis.jpg

We’re sure you’re all familiar with Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis by now but what you may not know is that he’s now the owner of the NBAs Washington Wizards. Leonsis was asked about comparing the two leagues from a financial standpoint and his thoughts were pretty striking.

“I’m surprised because now I see all of the NBA financials,” Leonsis said. “And I’d honestly have to say at this point in time that the NHL is stronger than the NBA, clearly because it has a CBA in place that protect owners from taking stupid pills.

“There is a hard cap in the NHL. In the NBA, you can spend a lot of money and every dollar you’re over this luxury tax you get fined. And there’s a lot of basketball teams who are losing a lot of money.”

Considering how much flack the NHL gets over it’s various unstable franchises (Phoenix, Nashville and Pittsburgh most recently) it’s interesting to hear this from a guy who will be new to the ownership club in the NBA. While it’s tough to doubt that there are franchises in the NBA that are struggling financially, you almost never hear about them nor do they steal headlines away from what goes on in the games. It must be a pretty nice public relations machine they’ve got working in David Stern’s office, obviously he never let Gary Bettman near it when they worked together in the NBA offices.

After all, can you imagine what the media mess would be if a situation like what happened to the Seattle Supersonics being ripped out of Seattle and sent to Oklahoma City unfolded in the NHL?

No, wait, I can totally picture that happening.

  1. chris shirling - May 23, 2010 at 1:46 AM

    Ted is right… the NBA is a sick league financially and David Stern knows it. When they write the book on Stern, it will be all about a man who didn’t have the courage to fix what was wrong and is passing it on to the next guy.
    There are going to be 4 or 5 staggeringly large NBA contracts written this summer by teams that don’t and won’t have the money to pay them.

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