Forbes: Every NBA team worth more than $1 billion

Forbes: Every NBA team worth more than $1 billion
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 11: Jordan Clarkson #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes to the basket against the San Antonio Spurs on January 11, 2018 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBA.com staff report

For the first time in league history, every NBA franchise is worth more than $1 billion, according to Forbes' annual NBA franchise valuations.

The New York Knicks, reportedly worth $3.6 billion, retained the top spot for the third consecutive year. The Los Angeles Lakers ($3.3 billion), Golden State Warriors ($3.1 billion), Chicago Bulls ($2.6 billion), and Boston Celtics ($2.5 billion) round out the top five teams.

Kurt Badenhausen from Forbes has more on the health of the league:

A weeklong selloff wiped out $4 trillion from global stock markets. But the average NBA team is valued at a record $1.65 billion, 22% over last year and every team is worth at least $1 billion for the first time. Franchise values have tripled over the past five years. Credit the league’s economics, in particular its international growth prospects, which are the best of any major U.S. sports league.

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Take China where basketball is played by an estimated 300 million people. The NBA signed a five-year deal in 2015 for Tencent to carry games and other NBA content on its digital platforms. The deal has been a slam dunk and is expected to net the NBA more than $800 million. Negotiations for an extension are already underway. The league has 34 media and marketing partners in China, as well as 144 million followers on social media in China, more than any other sport.

The NBA launched NBA China 10 years ago, and it is currently worth more than $4 billion, according to Mark Tatum, NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer. “We’re seeing growth in all lines of business whether it’s content distribution, sponsorships or merchandise,” says Tatum. “The NBA and the consumption of our product continues to grow, which is really driving the valuation of NBA China.”

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The Philadelphia 76ers had the biggest gain in value at 48% to $1.18 billion. The Process is bearing fruit for fans and 76ers owners Joshua Harris and David Blitzer. The 76ers had the biggest year-over-year increase in local television ratings during the 2016-17 season at 84%. The team has 14,300 season ticket sales with another 1,000 names on the waiting list. Season ticket sales were 3,000 at the start of the tanking strategy dubbed “The Process.”

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