Knicks top Forbes' NBA list


NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks are the NBA's most valuable franchise despite nearly $40 million in operating losses last season, according to a list compiled by Forbes.

The Knicks topped the list for the second straight year with a value of $592 million, up 9% from the previous year. They had an NBA-high $185 million in revenues for the 2005-06 season, but also topped the league with losses of $39 million.

New York had a payroll of more than $120 million, easily the NBA's largest, while going just 23-59 last season. The Knicks paid coach Larry Brown about $10 million for that season, then paid him another $18.5 million in a settlement after firing him with four years remaining on his contract.

Though Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan said earlier this season that "it's never OK to lose business," he pointed out that the Knicks represented only about 3% of the total business of parent company Cablevision.

The Los Angeles Lakers were second at $568 million, while the Dallas Mavericks had a 15% jump after their first NBA finals appearance and were third at $463 million. Chicago ($461 million) and Houston ($439 million) rounded out the top five.

The complete Forbes list will be appear in its Feb. 12 issue.