Rockets the third most valuable NBA franchiseForbes most recent issue (Jan 9, 2006 - a tad early, go figure) has the newest estimated valuation rankings for all 30 NBA teams. Even though their win-loss record is not so impressive this year and injuries are multiplying, the Rockets score an impressive third place with a $422 million valuation, although quite a distance behind the #1 NY Knicks ($543m) and #2 LA Lakers ($529m). They are closely followed by the Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, and Phoenix Suns. Impressive company. Surprisingly, the champion San Antonio Spurs are stuck down at #12.
Other stats of interest: the Rockets valuation grew 14% in one year (more than all but a handful of other franchises), had $141 million in revenue and 25.8 million in income. The average NBA team is worth $326m, increased 9% over the year, had $106m in revenue, and $7.8m in income - so the Rockets are substantially above average. I imagine the credit goes to Yao, T-Mac, and the Toyota Center.
The big losers? The Portland Trailblazers at #29, losing $31.5m last year under the generous charity of ex-Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen, and, as you might guess, the #30 New Orleans Hornets of Oklahoma City.
Interesting factoid: the #20 Toronto Raptors are owned by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. "Now children, don't forget to bring $50 and your parents' permission slip for yet another field trip study of basketball physics. Extra credit for the student wearing the most Raptors' logo'd merchandise that day. And don't forget the parents' day show-and-tell oral reports on the wonderful merits of any product advertised during a Raptors' game..."