Knicks rake in some rich consolation
They may have been buffeted by crises on and off the court, but the New York Knicks remain the most valuable franchise in the NBA, Forbes reported on Wednesday.
The Knicks are languishing in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference after a 23-34 start to the season which last week saw former star Charles Oakley banned from attending home games by team owners.
But the poor form and offcourt soap operas have done nothing to diminish the Knicks’ money-spinning value, according to Forbes.
The magazine said in its annual survey of NBA team valuations that the Knicks were now worth an estimated $3.3 billion, a 10 percent bump on 2016.
The Knicks posted an NBArecord operating profit of $141 million last year, despite a losing 32-50 season record.
Another iconic franchise with a dismal record — the Los Angeles Lakers — are ranked second, with a value of $3 billion.
The Lakers, who suffered the worst season in their history last term with a 17-65 record, are also struggling again this year at 19-38.
The Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics round out the top five most valuable franchises.
Golden State’s value was put at $2.6 billion, a 37 percent increase from 2016, a spike attributed to surging ticket and sponsorship revenues. The franchise has also broken ground on a state-of-the-art arena due to open in 2019.
But while the Warriors’ suc- cess on court has shot up them up the rankings, the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers were only 11th overall out of 30 teams.
The Cavs were one of three franchises, along with the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder, to post a loss last season.
Cleveland’s $40 million loss — attributed to payroll excesses — was the fifth largest in NBA history.
The Knicks’ latest suffering came on Wednesday night as Russell Westbrook scored 38 points and posted his 27 th triple-double of the season to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat New York 116-105.
Carmelo Anthony had 30 points for the Knicks after being selected to the All-Star Game.