Knicks, Lakers NBA's first billion dollar teams
The New York Knicks are the NBA's most valuable team, worth over $1 billion, according to a Forbes poll that showed the average team value rose 30 per cent over the last year.
The average NBA team's value is now $509 million, a rise Forbes said was driven by higher television revenue, new and renovated arenas and the league's new collective bargaining agreement.
The Knicks reclaimed top spot in the annual poll from the Los Angeles Lakers with a value of $1.1 billion, a 41 per cent jump from last year, due mainly to a $980 million renovation of Madison Square Garden that will be completed later this year.
The Lakers, who had the league's highest payroll last season that triggered a $12.6 million luxury tax bill, were second with a value of $1 billion, up 11 per cent from last year.
The Knicks and Lakers are the first NBA teams to be valued at $1 billion or above.
Rounding out the top five were the Chicago Bulls ($800 million), Boston Celtics ($730 million) and Dallas Mavericks ($685 million).
The value of the reigning NBA champion Miami Heat rose 37 per cent to $625 million, putting them sixth among the league's 30 teams.