New York Knicks Top Forbes Most Valuable NBA Teams List

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Forbes has released a compilation of the most valuable teams in the NBA, and the Carmelo Anthony-led New York Knicks have emerged s the most valuable NBA team.

#1 New York Knicks
Value: $1.1 billion
Profit: $83 million

The Knicks’ home arena, Madison Square Garden, is in the final stages of a $980 million renovation, to be completed this summer. The makeover resulted in an NBA-leading $243 million in revenue last season. Another plus: better play. In 2012, the Knicks won a playoff game for the first time since 2001.

#2 Los Angeles Lakers
Value: $1 billion
Profit: $48 million

The Lakers should see revenue surge this year. The team got their new $3.6 billion television deal with Time Warner Cable off to a fast start by striking carriage deals before the season began with DirecTV, Cox, Verizon, AT&T and Charter for the team’s two new regional sports networks, Time Warner Cable Sportsnet and Time Warner Cable Deportes. The 16-time NBA champions had the NBA’s highest payroll for a third straight year last season triggering a $12.6 million luxury tax bill.

#3 Chicago Bulls
Value: $800 million
Profit: $34 million

The Bulls led the league in attendance for a third straight year with an average of 22,161 per game. Last season ratings on CSN Chicago averaged 5.8, 29% higher than the previous season and fourth best in the league.

#4 Boston Celtics
Value: $730 million
Profit: $19 million

The Celtics, who have the NBA’s third highest average ticket price ($69), coined money during the 2011-12 season. The team made it to the Eastern Conference Finals where they lost in seven games to the eventual NBA champions, Miami Heat. The Celtics signed a Courtside Club naming rights deal at TD Garden with Sun Life Financial, who took over the rights from the Lincoln car brand. The team also raised cash by bringing in a new investor, Rob Hale, last year.

#5 Dallas Mavericks
Value: $685 million
Profit: $13 million

The Mavericks sold out an NBA-best 432 straight regular season games heading into the 2012-13 season. Credit 12 straight playoff appearances and the popularity of 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, as well as Mark Cuban, who markets his franchise harder than any other owner in pro sports. The Mavs have consistently lost money under Cuban thanks to high payrolls that triggered the luxury tax. But last year’s $2.7 million bill was the lowest of the past 7 years.

#6 Miami Heat
Value: $625 million
Profit: $15 million

The Miami Heat captured their second championship last season, defeating the Thunder in five games. LeBron James was named MVP for both the regular season (his third) and the finals. In doing so, James became only the tenth player in league history to be named MVP for the season and finals. The Heat’s cable television rating soared 34% last year, to an average of 6.59 on Sun Sports, second-best in the league.

#7 Houston Rockets
Value: $568 million
Profit: $27 million

After missing the playoffs for three consecutive years, the Rockets spent big money on two guards prior to the start of the 2012-13 season. The Rockets signed free agent point guard Jeremy Lin (above) to a 3-year, $25 million contract, and then traded for Oklahoma City’s reigning Sixth Man of the Year James Harden. The Rockets signed the shooting guard to a 5-year, $80 million contract extension. The team will have the money after launching its new regional sports network. Comcast SportsNet Houston, owned by the Rockets, MLB’s Houston Astros and Comcast, launched with the 2012-13 season.

#8 Golden State Warriors
Value: $555 million
Profit: $29 million

The Warriors plan to build a new arena on the San Francisco waterfront that is expected to be ready by 2017, when the team’s lease at Oracle Arena in Oakland expires. Under the tentative deal the Warriors will privately finance the project, which could cost $1 billion and also includes a hotel and condominiums.

#9 Brooklyn Nets
Value: $530 million
Loss: $17 million

The Nets posted the NBA’s second-biggest operating loss in their final season playing in Newark’s Prudential Center, but it is a new era for the Nets after their move to Brooklyn and the opening of the Barclays Center. Jay-Z, a small investor in the Nets, opened the arena to rave reviews with a series of eight concerts in the fall. The team is adding the NHL’s Islanders as a tenant starting in 2015, which will help offset the arena’s operating expenses. Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov owns 80% of the Nets and a 45% stake in the arena, while real estate developer Bruce Ratner owns a controlling interest in the Barclays Center and will operate the arena. Ratner also owns 20% of the basketball team.

#10 San Antonio Spurs
Value: $527 million
Profit: $15 million

The Spurs have the best record in pro sports since the team drafted Tim Duncan first overall and hired Gregg Popovich to coach. The team has won 70% of its regular season games (the NFL’s Patriots have won 69.5%) and four NBA titles since the start of the 1997-98 season. Ratings for Spurs games on FS Southwest were down 21% last season, but they were still the highest in the NBA for a second straight year. The Spurs were one of six teams to pay the luxury tax for last season with a total bill of $2.5 million.




Quo non Ascendam. Writer. E-mail:

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