Forbes magazine recently released its list of the most valuable NBA franchises and coming in first, with a net worth of $655M was the New York Knicks. Shocking, right? Despite the best efforts of James Dolan and Isiah Thomas, this team is still worth something. The Knickerbockers overtook the Los Angeles Lakers of Anaheim who clocked in at a value of $643: a 6% increase over last year.
As a one-time business major, I used my Accounting I skills to subtract Andrew Bynum’s ’10-’11 salary of $13M (more on that monstrosity below) from the LA’s credit column and that’s the net increase in value they need to overtake a team that hasn’t had a winning season since 2000-2001.
Moving on. Like Mike Wilbon, I wasn’t surprised by this little nugget:
17 of the 30 teams are estimated to have lost money last season, according to Forbes… [Forbes] said the total of teams that lost money is the most since the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season.
Well, when you give a guy who is averaging 11 and 8 $13M a year, I guess that might be a sign things aren’t going so great. And this is why NBA players will be fighting for joe jobs with NFLers next off-season.
The NBA owners: they’rrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeee terrible businessmen!
I want to borrow a device used by one of the best sportswriters alive, Joe Posnanski:
Since the start of the 1990-1991 NBA season through last night:
Team A: 637-1,006 (.388), 5 playoff appearances, 1 playoff series win
Team B: 599-1045 (.364), 4 playoff appearances, 1 playoff series win
OK, just by looking at the title of this post and the pic of a suffering Flip, you can probably figure out one of these teams is the Washington Bullets/Wizards (Team A). The other one? The much-maligned, and perennially-mocked, Los Angeles Clippers. Let that sink in a for minute… Since 1990, the Wizards have averaged just under two wins (1.8) more per season than these guys:
The similarities don’t end there. Busted former #1 overall draft picks? Check (Michael Olowokandi and Kwame Brown). NBA legends who stayed way too long in an effort to rebuild their adopted hometown teams? Check (Elgin Baylor and Wes Unseld). Obnoxious season ticket holders? Check (Bill Simmons [before you blind loyalists filet me in the comments, relax: he doesn't care and this is a joke] and Robin Ficker).
What’s worse is that for the last 20+ years, the Wizards actually tried to win. Long-time owner/community devotee Abe Pollin was just about the exact opposite of Clippers owner/community pariah Donald Sterling: Pollin personally funded TWO arenas for his teams to play in (tell me the last time an owner did that) and gave big dollars to players like Juwan Howard, Chris Webber, Jerry Stackhouse, Antawn Jamison, Mitch Richmond and some dude named “Gilbert” all in an effort to remain competitive (which mostly failed). He hired the greatest player of all time (albeit not to play, mostly); handing over a piece of the team in the process.
All Sterling has ever done is force the trade or release of marquee players who grew too pricey for the franchise. Oh, and for the players the Clippers do manage to keep, Sterling doles out verbal abuse to them that’d make Mel Gibson blush. It’s safe to say any success this franchise has enjoyed has come despite terrible ownership. Does that make Washington’s ineptitude worse? Hundreds of millions of dollars is an awful lot to pay for 38 wins over 20 seasons.
So, what do we make of all this? Well, with new owner Ted Leonsis’ commitment to the franchise, as well as his success with the Washington Capitals, one might surmise the big man knows what he’s doing. But for a large-market like DC that loves its basketball, Ted’s going to have to do a lot more than just change the name.
The dirt has barely settled on the grave of the infamous #0 jersey yet Boo-ray has raised its ugly head in an attempt to bring down another team. Well we are talking ’bout the Grizzle. They can’t get much lower. They get free passage from Charon when crossing the Mississippi and Cerberus guards the locker room door at the FedEx Forum.
A fight broke out between the Grizzlies’ OJ Mayo and Tony Allen during a team charter flight on Monday night. The dispute was over money owed from a game of Boo-ray. Yes, that would be the same game that caused the “drama” between Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton. That minor altercation destroyed the Wizards and earned Hibachi a season-long cooldown.
Mayo owed Allen money from a card game, “Boo-Ray” and sources said Mayo became increasingly belligerent and antagonistic toward Allen when asked to settle the debt. Sources said Allen walked away from Mayo to go the restroom and returned to find Mayo continuing to berate him. Eventually, Mayo inched close to Allen, and sources said Allen hit Mayo.
“Tony warned [Mayo] to watch his mouth, and [Mayo] wouldn’t do it and just kept going off on him,” a source with knowledge of the incident told Yahoo! Sports.
Teammates separated the two and the team considers the matter closed. Gilbert won’t be impressed unless Allen brings guns into the locker room so they can settle it like fools.
Note: I meant buck buck like a gun, not the Bill Cosby/Fat Albert game. Apologies if you were expecting the latter. If you were, I hope this makes up for it.
Wonder if his mother or Delonte West jumped out of the cake.
H/T to Dime Magazine.