The New York Knicks are once again NBA’s most valuable franchise, according to a latest study published by Forbes on Wednesday.
Knicks’ market value has skyrocketed for three primary reasons: 1) The completely refurbished Madison Square Garden which boasts of the highest suite prices in the league. 2) The new television deal signed this past summer, and 3) The emergence of rookie Kristaps Porzingis (affectionately referred to as PorzinGod by fervent New York fans).
The Knicks signed a nine-year deal worth $24 billion with ESPN/ABC and Turner last summer. The deal also triggered a huge hike in the NBA’s salary cap, something that players will benefit from over the next few years.
The recent Forbes study revealed that the Knicks’ value jumped 20 percent to $3 billion, while the Los Angeles Lakers – which held the top spot last year – are valued at $2.7 billion.
Rounding off the Top 5 are Chicago Bulls at $2.3 billion, Boston Celtics at $2.1 billion and Los Angeles Clippers at $2 billion. Incidentally, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer paid $2 billion to purchase the team in 2014.
Forbes revealed that the average worth of an NBA franchise is $1.25 billion, almost 13 percent more than it was last year.
In 1994, the Knicks’ current ownership group purchased the storied franchise, along with the NHL’s New York Rangers, Madison Square Garden and the MSG Network (TV Station) for a sum of $1.1 billion. When you trace back that deal, it sounds like a bargain. The owners spent close to a billion just to renovate MSG over the last few years.
Golden State Warriors, the reigning NBA champions, have seen the steadiest rise in franchise value. They were purchased for Joe Lacob and Peter Guber for $450 million in 2010. Today, the Warriors are the sixth-most valuable franchise at $1.9 billion.
The New Orleans Pelicans are the least valuable team in the NBA at $650 million. The league sold the team to Tom Benson for $338 million back in 2012.
New York Knicks fans have been yearning for a championship for over 40 years now. With the recent resurgence, led by president Phil Jackson, the wait could end in a few years.