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New Forbes Team Values: Knicks and Lakers Top $1 Billion

The new Forbes Magazine team $ evaluations are up and team values are up an average of 30% this last year. That labor lockout last winter? I guess that went well for the NBA owners.

Streeter Lecka

According to Forbes magazine (link here) NBA team values went up an average of 30%. Thirty percent! The Lakers and the Knicks estimated value went over a BILLION for the first time. The rise in value, according to Forbes writers, Kurt Badenhausen and Mike Ozanian was "thanks to blockbuster TV deals, new and renovated arenas and a more favorable labor deal for owners".

Wow! I mean WOW! These numbers are just nuts. The Knicks' value (certainly one of the most poorly run franchises over the last ten years) is estimated at 1.1 billion... up a whopping 41%. I guess some of that is because of an updated Madison Square Garden, a new media deal, and team success... but who would have thunk that the acquisition of Carmelo Anthony would have brought the Knicks so much success... and I mean success as in dollar signs and many, zeroes$$!!!!

So what about the other end of the donkey? Bringing up the rear on the Forbes list is the Milwaukee Bucks franchise valued at $312M and seeing their own 16% rise in value. The Charlotte Bobcats franchise, which Michael Jordan bought for around $150M in assumed debt in 2010... lost $13M last year (down from $30M two years before). But the franchise doubled in apparent value in just two years! Uh... Michael Jordan: Genius? Genius.

If you're wondering, the Clips value went up 33% last year and the value is now estimated at $430M with an operating profit around nine million. Weep ye not for Donald Sterling. His profits are flat but his equity is exploding... and should get even better as the team improves and he renews his media deals.

With the advent of a new NBA revenue sharing plan and new salary cap rules, it seems the league, just a year after a bitter labor dispute, is making money for it's ownership... lots of money. Of course it's all theoretical. And all you gotta do to see the cash is sell your team... but seriously, we can't accept any more whining from ownership. Payrolls are puny when set in relief against the potential profits these franchises are making.