By Frank Pingue
(Reuters) – The New York Knicks are the NBA’s most valuable team for the second consecutive year despite having been shut out of the playoffs since 2013, according to a Forbes poll released on Wednesday that showed the average team value rose 9 percent.
The Knicks’ value rose to $3.3 billion, up 10 percent from last year, as they continue reaping the rewards of a $1 billion renovation to Madison Square Garden, which produced new revenue opportunities from sponsorships and seating.
According to Forbes, the Knicks also posted an NBA-record operating profit of $141 million last season, despite a 32-50 season record. It was the first season of the team’s new local cable deal with MSG, which paid $100 million in year one.
The Los Angeles Lakers ($3 billion), Golden State Warriors ($2.6 billion), Chicago Bulls ($2.5 billion) and Boston Celtics ($2.2 billion) rounded out the top five.
The reigning NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers were ranked 11th out of the league’s 30 teams with a 9 percent jump in value to $1.2 billion.
The Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder all lost money last season due to excessive payrolls that triggered the luxury tax.
The average NBA team’s value rose to $1.36 billion, a rise driven by the NBA’s nine-year, $24 billion media deal with ESPN and TNT that kicked off this season, a new collective bargaining agreement ensuring seven years of labor peace and substantial international opportunities for the league.
For the complete list visit (http://Forbes.com/nba)
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto)