UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — For the first time in history, every team in the NBA is worth at least $1 billion.
On Feb. 7, Forbes announced its annual valuations, which show the average NBA team is now worth $1.65 billion. That’s an eye-popping 22 percent increase over the previous year.
At the top of the list are the New York Knicks, now worth $3.6 billion.
The New Orleans Pelicans are holding down the 30th and final position, but according to Forbes’ numbers, they’re still valued at a cool billion.
Senior editor Kurt Badenhausen credits the league’s strong international growth prospects for the enormous investor interest.
The league’s been cultivating the Chinese market for about a decade now, and it reaches millions of Chinese basketball fans every day thanks to a digital partnership with tech giant Tencent.
Forbes says that deal alone is expected to net the league $800 million.