Proving once again it’s great to be a filthy rich sports owner, Forbes released its valuations for NBA teams and named the Knicks as the most valuable, worth a whopping $3 billion and “up 20 percent and fourth most among U.S. sports franchises behind only the Dallas Cowboys ($4 billion), New England Patriots ($3.2 billion) and New York Yankees ($3.2 billion).”
Despite their recent malaise, the Lakers slotted in second with a $2.7 billion valuation followed by the Bulls ($2.3 billion), Celtics ($2.1 billion), and Clippers ($2 billion). In all, Forbes says “13 teams are worth at least $1 billion, up from just three two years ago.”
The five franchises rounding out the bottom were Charlotte ($750 million), Minnesota ($720 million), Philadelphia ($700 million), Milwaukee ($675 million), and New Orleans ($650 million).
Forbes outlines how the NBA and its 30 franchise have been flooded with money in recent years, driving up valuations thanks to a new television contract with ESPN, Nike’s deal to be the league’s official apparel maker starting in 2017, new multi-million dollar corporate partnerships, and regional sports network deals that are handsomely paying teams like the Knicks, Mavericks, and Hawks for the rights to air the bulk of their games.