Knicks rake in some rich con­so­la­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By AGENCE FRANCEPRESSE in New York

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.

Thun­der struck

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.

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