Some interesting tidbits from Forbes' newly released list of the most valuable franchises in the NBA:
-Thanks in large part to the team's renewed competitiveness in the wake of the Amar'e Stoudemire signing, the Knicks have replaced the Lakers (#2 on the list) as the league's most valuable team (The Bulls, Celtics and Rockets round out the top five). Forbes notes that the Knicks sold out their season ticket inventory for the first time since 2001-02 this season. The Knicks are still only two games above .500, but it looks like the cloud of the Isiah Thomas era is finally lifting. The future looks bright in New York.
-The future doesn't look so bright in Cleveland, where the Cavs have won only eight games since owner Dan Gilbert famously declared that his team would win a championship before LeBron James' Miami Heat. As Mike Ozanian writes:
"The King's move accounted for both the biggest gain and drop in team values: the Heat's worth increased 17%, to $425 million (seventh among the NBA's 30 teams), and the Cavaliers plummeted 26%, to $355 million (15th)."
-Also, the bad economy continues to take a toll on the league.
"Operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) fell to an average of $6.1 million, 22% lower than the previous season and the lowest figure since the 2002-03 season. Worse, 17 teams lost money, the most since the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season."
Read the rest of the piece here.