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Knicks most valuable NBA franchise, worth $1.4 billion according to Forbes

Jan 22, 2014, 1:27 PM EDT

Madison Square Garden Getty Images

A more favorable Collective Bargaining Agreement for the owners coupled with a crop of young stars increasing television ratings has been good for NBA owners.

Franchise valuations are up. Way up. Setting record levels up. Up 25 percent on average over a year ago up. The average team made a profit of $23.7 million.

And you wonder why the owners are so loyal to David Stern.

Those figures are from Forbes Magazine, which released its annual report on franchise values Wednesday. While the magazine’s assessment is admittedly somewhat flawed, until the NBA owners decide to open their books up to the public (good luck with that) this is the best we have.

At the top of the list money-making list is the New York Knicks, which in a renovated Madison Square Garden is worth a record $1.4 billion, according to Forbes. Because the renovated building is drawing in more money than expected, the Knicks had a league-record profit for the 2012-13 season of $96 million, the magazine estimates.

The Lakers are just half a step back of the Knicks in franchise value at $1.35 billion, reports Forbes, and the team turned a tidy $66 million profit, according to the magazine. The main reason for all the cash is the massive $3.6 billion local television deal they struck with Time Warner Cable.

The rest of the top 10 are the Chicago Bulls ($1 billion), the Boston Celtics ($875 million), the Brooklyn Nets ($780 million), the Houston Rockets ($775 million), the Miami Heat ($770 million), the Dallas Mavericks ($760 million), the Golden State Warriors ($750 million), and the San Antonio Spurs ($660 million).

The bottom five are the Minnesota Timberwolves ($430 million, and they operated at a $2.7 million loss last season according to Forbes), the Atlanta Hawks ($425 million), the New Orleans Pelicans ($420 million), the Charlotte Bobcats ($410 million), and the Milwaukee Bucks ($405 million).

  1. pbtunpaidwriter - Jan 22, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    Good news: You can suck, as long as you’re in a big market, you’re worth a lot.

    Bad news: You can dominate in a small market (Portland, OKC) and still barely be worth half a billion.

    • asimonetti88 - Jan 22, 2014 at 1:53 PM

      Welcome to Business 101.

      • fanofevilempire - Jan 22, 2014 at 2:45 PM


    • fanofevilempire - Jan 22, 2014 at 2:44 PM

      Yeah because Portland has 16 championships and OKC has 17 and by the way
      OKC was Seattle but I do love their throwbacks, from 2010,hahahahahahahah

    • datcrazybok - Jan 22, 2014 at 3:00 PM

      A Burger King franchise in New York or Los Angeles is worth more than a Burger King franchise in OKC or Portland. Why would an NBA franchise be any different?

  2. antistratfordian - Jan 22, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    Who needs championships when you have valuations like these?

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 22, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      this wasn’t about championships, it is about value, and do you know the most valued
      team in sports and the world, the New York Yankees, choke on that!

      • datcrazybok - Jan 22, 2014 at 3:03 PM

        Forbes says that both Manchester United and Real Madrid are the most valued team in sports and the world.

        Choke on that! (Did I do that right?)

  3. shuttaman1990 - Jan 22, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    All that money yet no chips since a long time.
    I mean it’s all cool doe right? New York Fans can have some of that money right?
    BAHAHAHAH bums!!!

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 22, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      what did you do, NOTHING, you want a parade.
      choke on this it goes back and forth with Man U , drop dead!
      and by the way Man U is in 7th place in the Barclays EPL, sucker!

      • shuttaman1990 - Jan 22, 2014 at 6:43 PM

        wtf is you talking about?
        I’m a lakers fan, and this crazy knicks bonics is weird to me.
        thanks for melo doe lMAO

  4. RavenzGunnerz - Jan 22, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Turn off TVs, Turn off Twitter, Turn off Facebook, Turn off ESPN, just find a place where you can live like a caveman… because that will be a better life… when

    The NY Knicks win an NBA Title.

    We’ve been making fun all of them all this. Ridiculing them, jokes of the entire league, and they are still worth $1.4bin??

    What will happen if they manage to win 1 NBA title? they will make a lot of noise. lol.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 22, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      how about you, when will the Bullets win anything?

      • asimonetti88 - Jan 22, 2014 at 4:22 PM

        Knicks have more championships than the Wiz, including a more recent Finals appearance

  5. suckit619 - Jan 22, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    “Winning is overrated”

    -James Dolan

    • kitnamania13 - Jan 22, 2014 at 7:55 PM

      Let me correct that quote for you:

      “Winning is overrated. Isiah Thomas is a genius. Get me more cocaine or you’re fired.”

      -James Dolan

      • money2long - Jan 22, 2014 at 9:12 PM

        lol @ get me more cocaine

  6. logicalcomment - Jan 22, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    23 millions average isnt that much when u think Joe Johnson made as much and Kobe more.
    if im the lakers i would have trade gasol s 20 mill along time ago !

  7. timpiker - Jan 22, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    Ray is a cheap and dirty traitor. Left for less than half the money and went to the enemy. No number raising for him.

  8. blazertop - Jan 22, 2014 at 7:23 PM

    How are the Rockets so high?

    • money2long - Jan 22, 2014 at 9:17 PM


  9. 950003cups - Jan 23, 2014 at 12:35 AM

    On paper they’re worth billions. On the court they worth UGOTZ!!!!!!

  10. hdsnake867 - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    I couldn’t give a crap if the Knicks were worth $10 billion. I wouldn’t go see them play if you gave me a pair of VIP front row seats for free. THE KNICKS STINK! And really, would anyone want to sit near Spike Lee?

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