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NBA NOTES

Colangelo: Red Ink on the Rise

May 09, 1998| From Associated Press

About 20 NBA teams will lose money this season, Phoenix President Jerry Colangelo said Friday, and that is up from 15 a year ago.

And profit margins are shrinking for even the most fiscally successful teams, he added, citing the Suns as an example.

"We were marginally profitable [in 1996-97]," Colangelo said.

That profit was about $1 million, down from the annual $10 million the Suns have shown for most of years since moving into the America West Arena for the 1992-93 season.

Colangelo cited rising costs, particularly for players' salaries, as the reason for profit problems. The Suns had a payroll of about $37 million this past season.

Reining in spending won't necessarily reverse the decline in profits, said Colangelo, who is also managing general partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"When you're in a competitive business, all it takes is one or two or three teams to do something out of the ordinary, and look what happens," he said. "Everything is market driven."

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Arkansas Coach Nolan Richardson says he will listen to an offer, if one is made, from the NBA's Denver Nuggets.

Richardson said he is happy at Arkansas, but owes it to himself and his family to entertain any NBA offers. The Nuggets were the NBA's worst team this year, compiling an 11-71 record, only two victories more than the NBA's worst ever.

"The Denver Nuggets should've called me a long time ago," Richardson, 56, told the Denver Post. "If they hired me, I would've won them a championship a long time ago."

But he said he wouldn't jump at just any offer.

"It would have to be a very special situation for me, with the right team and the right group of people to work with," he told the Post. "Would I listen to the Nuggets? Yeah."

Bill Hanzlik was fired as coach last month. He was the club's seventh coach in this decade.

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Two decades after they last played on Long Island, the New Jersey Nets are involved in negotiations about possibly moving back.

The owners of the NHL's New York Islanders have entered into talks with the Nets to try to buy them.

The Nets, who played in the same Nassau County area before moving to New Jersey after the 1976-77 season, can leave Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J., after the 1999-2000 season under the terms of their lease.

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