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Forbes: Knicks most valuable franchise, Kobe biggest earner

Jan 23, 2013, 3:05 PM EDT

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

The New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers are each worth more than $1 billion dollars.

That is billion with a “B.”

They are the first NBA franchises to pass that mark, reports Forbes Magazine in its latest valuation of NBA franchises. The Knicks are worth $1.1 billion, the Lakers $1 billion even. The average NBA franchise is worth $509 million, up 30 percent from the year before, the magazine estimates.

Oh, and by the way, Kobe Bryant makes a lot of money — $59.8 million in salary and endorsements this year. The magazine also has released its list of highest earning players.

With the franchises, the Knicks move back into the top spot somewhat due to success on the court but mostly because of the $980 million renovation to Madison Square Garden. The renovation paved the way for more of the expensive, luxury seating and perks that drive team revenue. Because of that the value of the franchise jumped 41 percent in one year, according to Forbes.

By moving to Brooklyn and the new Barclays Center, the Nets value jumped 48 percent to $530 million. The lowest valued team? The Milwaukee Bucks at a “measly” $312 million.

As for players earnings, it’s Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and then everyone else.

Kobe tops the list with LeBron James second at $57.6 million. LeBron has more endorsement money coming in but his actual NBA salary is just more than $10 million less than Kobe’s $27.8 million.

Derrick Rose — he of the large Adidas contract — is third on the list at $32.4 million.

The rest of the top 10 is:

4. Dwyane Wade
5. Kevin Durant
6. Carmelo Anthony
7. Amar’e Stoudemire
8. Dwight Howard
9. Chris Paul
10. Pau Gasol

What each of those guys does is put butts in seats (even Gasol, although to a much lesser extent). Yes, they can score a lot (save maybe Stoudemire) but pay for an NBA player at the max is not just about on-court production as what he means for the bottom line of the franchise. While Kobe may be getting paid $27 million he’s worth probably three times that to the Lakers in terms of ticket sales, sponsorships and more.

  1. flyrocket31 - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    27.8 Million a year. he could take lebrons salary and they could have gotten another good player. thats why they are 100million in salary

  2. seattlesuperchronic - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    I can’t believe you’d take this much time to write about how much players make. Sometimes this site feels like a bunch of stay at home moms gossiping.

  3. mungman69 - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    It’s not gossip of it’s fact.

  4. bestcoastinfluence - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Where is the list of the ten most value-less teams and players. That’s a list I want to see!

    • 00maltliquor - Jan 24, 2013 at 6:40 PM

      I second that!

      Paging Mr. Helin…..

  5. cantonbound13 - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    I’m shocked Kurt printed this. Where’s your Heat on the list Kurt? Knicks don’t need LeBron to make them the most valuable.

  6. e39er - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    He couldn’t take less money, he signed this contract shortly after they traded Shaq back then, Lebron recently signed the Mia contract 2 years ago so he was willing to take less money, Kobe should either re-structure his contract to get better players (least likely) or after his contract comes off the books in 14 he can resign with much less money (more likely)

  7. mdac1012 - Jan 23, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    The scary part is that both the owners of these billion dollar business thought it was a good idea to put Mike Dantoni in charge of their on court product.

    • cantonbound13 - Jan 24, 2013 at 8:15 AM

      Even worse he put Isiah in charge for years.

  8. mrlaloosh - Jan 23, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    Wow! CP-ME makes a lot of money. So what.

  9. loungefly74 - Jan 24, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    “While Kobe may be getting paid $27 million he’s worth probably three times that to the Lakers in terms of ticket sales, sponsorships and more. ”

    Thank you. so can we now stop with the talks of trading/releasing Kobe i read by the lunatics at this site? Take a damn financial/economic course if you need more explanation.

    • 00maltliquor - Jan 24, 2013 at 6:43 PM

      Bingo

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