Knicks top Forbes list as most valuable NBA franchise for third straight year

NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks' struggles on and off the
court didn't keep the team from remaining the NBA's most valuable
franchise for the third straight year, according to a list compiled
by Forbes.

The Knicks were valued at $604 million, up 3 percent from the
previous year despite a spate of losing, an embarrassing defeat in
a sexual harassment lawsuit, and continuing questions about the
future of coach Isiah Thomas.

The NBA's marquee franchise also had a league-high $196 million
in revenues for the 2006-07 season while topping the list with
negative $42.2 million in operating income after going 33-49 and
missing the playoffs.

The Los Angeles Lakers decreased in value 2 percent, down to
$560 from $568 million, but remained second on the list. The
Chicago Bulls were third with a value of $500 million and a
league-best $59.3 million in operating income. Detroit and Houston
rounded out the top five.

The Cleveland Cavaliers showed the biggest jump in value among
the top 10 teams, increasing 20 percent to $455 million. They
jumped from 10th to seventh.

The Dallas Mavericks, who were third on last year's list after a
15 percent hike in value following their first NBA finals
appearance, dropped to sixth. Phoenix, Miami and San Antonio
completed the top 10.

Even at the top of the NBA heap, the Knicks wouldn't crack the
top 10 in the NFL, where the No. 1 Cowboys were valued at $1.5
billion and the No. 10 Jets came in at $967 million, according to
the list of NFL franchises Forbes released in September.

The complete list of NBA franchises will appear on the
magazine's Web site, Forbes.com.