Good morning. Let’s basketball.
The annual Forbes NBA team valuations came out on Wednesday. These are not taken entirely seriously — especially by the league itself — as Forbes doesn't have a full set of financial documents to work from. (These are primarily private businesses.) But there is certainly some internal logic within the rankings, both as franchise values relate to each other and to previous years. And Forbes does this stuff all the time — there is expertise involved.
In other words, while the actual numbers might not be exactly right, the rankings and year-over-year growth figures are probably pretty close.
With that said: Forbes says that your New York Knicks are the most valuable team in the NBA, worth an estimated $3.3 billion. The Knicks have won exactly one playoff series in the past 17 years. Imagine if they were good!
Forbes says the Warriors ($2.6 billion), Kings ($1 billion), and Bucks ($785 million) are the biggest risers in value. The Lakers are listed at No. 2 overall at $3 billion. Notably, Forbes says that the Clippers are finally worth what Steve Ballmer paid for them: $2 billion. (That investment took, what, almost three years to pay off!)
Forbes also claims only three teams lost money last season, all due to massive payrolls that triggered the luxury tax. In other words, the NBA is doing juuuuuust fine.
Scores Galore ...
SAS 107, ORL 79
IND 104, CLE 113
PHI 108, BOS 116
CHA 85, TOR 90
MIL 129, BKN 125
DAL 91, DET 98
NOP 95, MEM 91
MIA 117, HOU 109
MIN 112, DEN 99
POR 88, UTA 111
LAL 101, PHX 137
NYK 105, OKC 116
ATL 84, LAC 99
SAC 86, GSW 109
... And Plenty More
Tim Cato talked to coaches to find out why NBA offenses are being dominated by one singular player much more frequently.
Carmelo Anthony said on Wednesday he looked forward to resting over All-Star Weekend. Then the NBA announced Melo was picked to replace Kevin Love in the All-Star Game. Oh well.
Speaking of Melo, here he is visiting an NYC high school soccer team powered by immigrants and refugees. It's one of the top teams in the country.
Back to Love: It seems bad that Ty Lue knew he was hurt enough to need surgery but played him in a back-to-back anyway.
Spencer Hall on how to fight your tyrannical sports franchise owner.
The great Pablo Torres on LeBron's plot to become a global icon. A must-read. We're all playing checkers while LeBron is playing The Cones of Dunshire out here.
I ranked the top 13 contenders for NBA expansion (and listed 10 more that didn't quite make the cut). Based on feedback I overlooked Montreal, underrated Kansas City and overrated Austin.
Zach Lowe on the Pistons, who seem to badly need a shake-up.
Russell Westbrook is having the best season ever for a player who isn't an All-Star starter.
Phil Jackson does not look comfortable on this city bus. In defense of Phil, I think you would be hard-pressed to find a 6'8, 71-year-old anywhere who would be comfortable on a city bus. I am several inches shorter and decades younger than Phil and a frequent bus rider, and I am about as comfortable as Phil looks there.
Stephen Curry had himself a night. He celebrated Klay Thompson's 30-footer before he even released it (true confidence in his brother) and he blocked 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein.
Funny riff on funny Sloan Conference panel names from David Roth.
Last-chance basketball before the All-Star Break: Wizards-Pacers at 7 p.m. ET on League Pass and Bulls-Celtics at 8 p.m. ET on TNT.
Be excellent to each other.