Everyone knows the Los Angeles Lakers are valuable. With 16 titles and one of the biggest media markets in the league, that the team is worth a ton of money is obvious.
But just how much are the Lakers worth? As they do every year, Forbes attempted to answer that question, and calculated that L.A.’s favorite basketball franchise is worth an estimated $3.3 billion, a whopping 10 percent increase in value from the year before.
The Lakers’ jump in worth made them the eighth-most valuable professional sports franchise in the world and the second-most valuable NBA team, trailing the New York Knicks by $0.3 billion.
The value the Lakers have isn’t the sole reason that LeBron James chose to join them this summer, but it surely didn’t hurt. The fact that the Lakers are potentially the one team in the NBA that James could have signed with and seen his own market value increase — in addition to the normal boost his arrival gives a team — was almost assuredly a factor.
James may not get extra money from Nike for ending up in a bigger market, but he will almost surely sell more shoes in Los Angeles, something that has Nike excited to design his next footwear chapter.
The sheer volume of fans and interest boosting the value of arguably the most famous athlete alive is why the Lakers’ are so valuable — in addition to a fat TV contract from Spectrum Sportsnet. And with the NBA rising in popularity both domestically and abroad as James joins aboard, the Lakers are nearly certain to see another jump in value over the next few years.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.