The New York Knicks have the worst record in the NBA, but Forbes says the franchise is still the league’s most valuable.
The business media outlet says the Knicks are worth $4 billion, which is more than double the NBA franchise average of $1.9 billion. Forbes reports that the NBA is the hottest of the “big four” professional sports leagues in the US, and subsequently the average value of a team climbed 13 percent over the last year.
At 10-43, the Knicks have the worst record of the NBA’s 30 teams. Las Vegas oddsmakers have New York at 3000/1 to win this year’s Finals, or implied odds of 0.03 percent.
But New York’s Madison Square Garden, name and brand recognition, and leading market host city still makes the Knicks the most valuable pro basketball organization.
Owner James Dolan, who serves as the chairman and CEO of The Madison Square Garden Company, says he’s received “feelers” on whether he’d be willing to sell at $5 billion.
By comparison, the average NFL franchise is worth $2.57 billion.
The Golden State Warriors, the team that’s won three of the last four NBA Finals, has the shortest Las Vegas odds of winning the championship at 2/5. The Warriors are the third most valuable team at $3.5 billion.
The Los Angeles Lakers are the second richest NBA franchise at $3.7 billion. The Westgate SuperBook has the team at 16/1 to win the 2019 title.
Rounding out the top five are the Chicago Bulls ($2.9 billion) and Boston Celtics ($2.8 billion). The Celtics have the second shortest odds at 8/1. The Bulls, which have the fourth worst record in the NBA, are with the Knicks at 3000/1.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were the only team that lost money in 2018, as billionaire owner Dan Gilbert spent $203 million – plus a $50.7 million luxury tax – to keep LeBron James and lead the team to a fourth consecutive NBA Finals.
The Cavs’ valuation has dropped in 2019 now that James is in Los Angeles. The franchise is worth a little more than $1.27 billion, the sixth cheapest valuation. Forbes reported the Cavaliers being worth $1.32 billion last year, meaning Gilbert’s team lost 3.79 percent.
Sports Betting Impact
Billionaire Mark Cuban, whose Dallas Mavericks are valued at $2.25 billion, said following the US Supreme Court’s repeal of the federal sports betting ban last year, “I think everyone who owns a top four professional sports team just basically saw the valuation of their team double.”
Sports betting grows interest. A Nielsen Sports study conducted last year found that bettors who gamble on the NFL watch 19 more regular season games than those who do not wager.
“Expanding access to legal sports betting will bring millennial audiences back to sports broadcasts and stadiums, which is a huge benefit for sport enterprises across the country,” American Gaming Association Senior VP of Public Affairs Sara Slane concluded.