Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Value of an NBA Franchise

... or why winning championships helps.

So, I'm a little late to the party on this one (ticktock6 published her reaction a while back). But let's do this all the same.

ESPN recently published a article about Forbes Magazine annual fiscal rankings of NBA's 30 franchises, and Henry Abbott of TrueHoop followed up with his take on the matter.

At $613 mil, the Knicks are the most valuable franchise roaming the hardwood. Meanwhile, our beloved Hornets are pulling up the rear: 28 out of 30 at $285 mil. I mean, sure Memphis is ranked 27, but we're still ahead of Charlotte and Milwaukee.

Apparently, Portland saw the biggest gain from last year and the Nets saw the biggest loss. Remarkably, San Antonio is in the top 10. Hmmmm, looks like a few championships will do wonders for the value of your team... who knew.

So, it looks like the Hornets have some ground to make up financially if they want to cement their status as a New Orleans franchise. The death of the Sonics has bought some time for the next unfortunate fan base, but it won't be long before Stern and company start evaluating teams for the next major move.

Side note: I shouldn't really demonize Stern here. It's his job to run the NBA and see that it remains profitable. It's easy to lash out at him when franchises move, but at the end of the day, it's probably better for the longevity of the sport to have someone in charge who won't be afraid to pull the trigger on deals like that. Granted, that doesn't make anyone in the Seattle area feel any better (and it really shouldn't since there were many other oft-discussed factors that made the move somewhat shady), but they should take solace in the fact that franchises move all the time. One day, the Sonics may return. Until then, you guys should really be rooting against the Clippers, Bobcats, and Grizzlies.

But back to the Hornets. Despite our lack of "value", the team has earned their stripes as a legit playoff threat and has done a lot with a little. Give credit to Jeff Bower for building a stellar team (and give credit to Chris and D.West for being stellar). And give credit to George Shinn for (somewhat reluctantly) believing in this city's ability to bounce back. Finally, give credit to the franchise as a whole selling enough season tickets this year to avoid the "opt out" clause in their lease.

Sure, we may not worth much compared to other, more storied franchises, but at least our fans can relax for the next few seasons and enjoy basketball, knowing that "losing" doesn't equal "leaving." Not that CP3 plans on losing... because he eats losers for breakfast. Now, we've just got to pray for another stellar season and hope the bottom of the economy doesn't fall out... oh, wait...


While on the subject of money, here's an even older post from Henry Abbott about a alternate approach for discussing NBA salaries.

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