The Philadelphia 76ers have been valued as the 11th-most valuable NBA franchise coming in at a whopping $2.075 billion, according to the annual list published by Forbes on Wednesday that showed TV contracts helped cushion the hit on profits from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite many businesses struggling throughout the pandemic, the Sixers still saw their value go up by 4%.
Their division rivals, the New York Knicks, are the NBA’s most valuable team for a sixth consecutive year.
The Knicks, who have just one playoff series victory since 2000 and last won an NBA title in 1973, are now worth $5 billion, up 8.7% from a year ago.
The increase in the Knicks’ value was largely attributable to the renovation of their arena, a blockbuster local TV deal and playing in the richest North American sports market.
The Golden State Warriors ($4.7 billion), who moved into a state-of-the-art building last season, reigning NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers ($4.6 billion), Chicago Bulls ($3.3 billion), and Boston Celtics ($3.2 billion) rounded out the top five.
Forbes said the average value of the NBA’s 30 teams rose 4% to $2.2 billion.
NBA teams had played about 80% of their regular-season games last season when play was halted due to the COVID-19 outbreak and missed out on arena revenue from playoff games as the league held its postseason in a restricted campus at Disney World.
But Forbes said average team profits, as measured by earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, fell only 12% to $62 million thanks to a TV deal that paid in full, as well as a reduction in player salaries as defined in the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement.