New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – The New York Knicks topped the Forbes annual league list in terms of value for the second straight year at $1.4 billion after raking in an all-time record profit of $96 million last season.
The profit is partly ascribed to the renovation of the Knicks’ home stadium, the Madison Square Garden.
The Los Angeles Lakers finished second with a valuation of $1.35 billion, bringing in an operating profit of $66 million despite a league-high payroll and a luxury-tax bill of $29.3 million.
The Chicago Bulls, at $1 billion, are the NBA’s third billion-dollar team.
The Celtics are fourth with $875 million while the Nets are ranked fifth with $780 million.
The magazine estimated that the average franchise is now worth $634 million, up a remarkable 25 per cent from just a year ago. Profits doubled to an all-time high of $23.7 million per team.
But franchise values in the NBA still pale in comparison to the NFL, with an average team worth of $1.17 billion, and with 23 teams topping $1 billion.
Incidentally, none of NBA’s top five is over .500 this season.
The NBA is said to have become a “global money machine,” with almost every team making money.
Former perennial money losers like the Charlotte Bobcats, Milwaukee Bucks and Memphis Grizzlies all turned a profit last season thanks to at least $10 million each in revenue sharing. Overall, only four teams lost money.