Over the last 30 years, the NBA has grown beyond belief. Basketball started out mostly as a sport popular in America. But with the rise of incredible and legendary NBA figures like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan, the league grew and expanded to a massive extent.
Especially with Jordan, he became a global icon. And thus the NBA reached unprecedented popularity during his stint in the NBA. From there, the arrival of transcendent players like Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry has helped grow the league even further.
On top of that, another factor that has helped the league grow internationally is the influx of foreign talent. Players outside of the USA who have come to the league and found success has brought a lot of new eyes to the NBA.
Players like Pau Gasol, Vlade Divac, Dirk Nowitzki, and more recently with Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic have helped bring a new set of eyes to the NBA. Fans of these players from different countries take a more personal interest in the NBA to keep track of players from their own countries.
And with the NBA becoming one of the most popular leagues in the world, this growth will only continue in its upward trajectory. But the NBA has benefitted from this increased international exposure over the last few years. The NBA has become one of the most profitable sports leagues in the entire world.
But it isn't just the NBA that has grown financially. NBA franchises have also seen massive growth in their financial value over the last few years. Forbes recently released the list of the most valuable franchises in the NBA.
Surprisingly, the New York Knicks were named the most valuable franchise in the NBA, ahead of more successful and stacked teams like Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Brooklyn Nets just to name a few. Here is the list below in its entirety.
2021's Most Valuable NBA Teams According To Fobes:
1. NY Knicks - $5.8B
2. Golden State Warriors - $5.6B
3. LA Lakers - $5.5B
4. Chicago Bulls - $3.7B
5. Boston Celtics - $3.6B
6. LA Clippers - $3.3B
7. Brooklyn Nets - $3.2B
8. Houston Rockets - $2.8B
9. Dallas Mavs - $2.7B
10. Toronto Raptors - $2.5B
Given that the New York Knicks are a historic franchise playing in the biggest market in the NBA, their value can be explained. But even though they do not have the quality roster that other teams on the list, their assets such as Madison Square Garden, and the surrounding New York area are their biggest tool.
The fact that another big market team like the Miami Heat and the reigning NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks failed to make this list is surprising. Perhaps that will change in next year's list. But for now, these teams are the most valuable in the NBA for this year.