In the past three years, either Kobe Bryant or LeBron James have taken home the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the National Basketball Association’s MVP, but neither superstar can claim to play for the most valuable team in the league.
The value of the resurgent Knicks rose from $586 million to $655 million in the past year, an increase of 12 percent. The rise was directly linked to the free-agent signing of Amar’e Stoudemire, who has helped the team earn victories both on court and in the boardroom with sponsors.
For the first time in nearly a decade, the Knicks sold out their full season ticket inventory, while their parent company, Madison Square Garden, Inc., signed a sponsorship deal with JPMorgan Chase that’s worth at least $30 million annually over 10 years.
With superstar forward Carmelo Anthony on his way to the Big Apple and ongoing renovations at the Garden, the Knicks could very well own the top spot for several years to come.
Although the name LeBron James doesn’t appear anywhere on the Knicks’ roster, he drastically impacted the fortunes of two teams when he took his talents to South Beach.
After signing James to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the Miami Heat’s worth increased 17 percent—the best percentage rise in the league—to $425 million.
Will the Miami Heat eventually overtake the New York Knicks as the NBA's most valuable franchise?
Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ valuation plummeted 26 percent—the largest decrease—to $355 million.
The average value of a franchise increased one percent to $369 million, down from a peak of $379 million two years ago.
Forbes’ Most Valuable NBA Teams
1. New York Knicks - $655 million
2. Los Angeles Lakers - $643 million
3. Chicago Bulls - $511 million
4. Boston Celtics - $452 million
5. Houston Rockets - $443 million
6. Dallas Mavericks - $438 million
7. Miami Heat - $425 million
8. Phoenix Suns - $411 million
9. San Antonio Spurs - $404 million
10. Toronto Raptors - $399 million