Robert touches on some key issues and they raise some good ethical debates. As mentioned, many NBA owners are using costs caused by the original purchases to factor into their losses. Is an NBA franchise at its core a business designed merely to make money? Or is it a little different. Some have argued that sports franchises are closer to expensive real estate investments or luxury goods. They can’t be expected to bring in a lot of revenue every year but are rather a luxury good for wealthy individuals (or groups) to purchase and enjoy. However, the owners can still hope that the luxury good (in this case the franchise) will go up in time or at least stay relatively the same. The enjoyment of owning a sports franchise is not a financial figure but perhaps it should be factored in as well.
Some other shady accounting processes have to do with the the TV deals. In fact, this article explains how some NBA franchises would actually own stakes in the local TV stations (the Celtics already have done this). This gives a lot of extra revenue that isn’t reported in standard operating accounting.