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Warriors in Line to Become NBA’s Financial Gold Standard

  • Warriors could challenge Knicks for the NBA's most valuable franchise.
  • Knicks, Warriors, and Lakers are the top three most valuable teams.
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The Golden State Warriors’ latest NBA championship could vault them past the New York Knicks as the league’s most valuable franchise.

The Warriors were ranked No. 2 on Forbes 2022 “Business of Basketball” rankings at $5.6 billion. The Knicks, valued at $5.8 billion, are tops, while the Los Angeles Lakers ($5.5 billion) are listed third.

But if Steph Curry and co. keep adding Larry O’Brien Championship Trophies, they could challenge the Knicks for the top spot, said Lee Berke, chief executive officer of LHB Sports, Entertainment & Media. 

The Warriors are a modern dynasty, winning four of the last eight NBA titles. The Knicks have not won a championship since 1973 but have somehow held on to the top spot. 

  • Knicks: Revenue: $299M. Operating Income: $71M. The Knicks have the advantage of playing in the nation’s largest media market, with a metro area population of over 19M. 
  • Warriors: Revenue: $258M. Operating Income: $44M. Arctos Sports Partners bought a minority stake last year, but the Warriors play in a smaller market, with an area population of 4M.
  • Lakers: Revenue: $316M. Operating Income: $63M. The Lakers boast LeBron James and play in the country’s second-biggest market, with a population of 13.2M.

“It’s tough to say the Warriors will surpass [the Knicks]. But can they come close to matching them? Yes. If they keep on performing like this, they will have substantial upside.” 

There are several factors that drive valuation — including performance, market size, and sponsorships — and despite decades of on-court struggles, the Knicks still rule the roost when it comes to basketball franchises.

“Certainly the Warriors have had a remarkable performance over the last decade. But the reality is the Knicks still are in the nation’s No. 1 DMA. That’s always going to be a factor for their valuation,” said Berke.

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