The New York Knicks haven’t won an NBA championship in nearly 50 years. They haven’t had a winning record in a single season since 2012-13. In the eight years since their last playoff appearance, they’ve gone through seven head coaches, and team owner James Dolan becomes more of a joke with each passing day.
The Knicks haven’t been taken seriously since the late 1990s, but they were just named the most valuable franchise in the NBA for 2021. Only in New York!
The Knicks have become the laughing stock of the NBA
The New York Knicks. Madison Square Garden. Red Holzman. Walt Frazier. The Knicks used to be a dream destination for players and coaches around the NBA. From the late 1960s to the mid-1970s, New York was a staple of excellence in the sport of basketball. The Knicks reached the playoffs in nine straight seasons during that span and won two NBA titles along the way.
After the mediocre decade that followed, New York saw a resurgence in the 1990s under Pat Riley and later, Jeff Van Gundy. The Knicks reached the Eastern Conference Finals four times and the NBA Finals twice but came away with zero championship rings during that promising stretch.
Since then, it’s all gone downhill.
The Knicks have now had 16 losing seasons and made the playoffs just four times in the last 19 years. They’ve only won one playoff series since 2001, and they haven’t won a title since 1973. Over the last seven years, New York has a combined 184-374 record, which is a dreadful 32.9% winning percentage.
Free agents no longer want to be a Knick. The NBA’s top coaches won’t even go near Madison Square Garden anymore. ‘The Mecca’ has become a museum for the league’s top players to show off on the national stage while beating the brains out of the junior varsity team that was once on top of the sport.
Despite their recent descent into the basement of the NBA, the Knicks still lead the league in one all-important category.
The Knicks are the NBA’s most valuable franchise
The Knicks might be one of the most embarrassing and worst-run organizations in professional sports today, but money shows no prejudices.
According to Politico, the Knicks have recently been valued at a mind-numbing $5.42 billion, which makes them the most valuable NBA franchise in 2021. The Golden State Warriors ($5.21 billion) and the Los Angeles Lakers ($5.14 billion) are close behind as the only other teams to be valued above $5 billion. The next most valuable team is the Brooklyn Nets at $3.40 billion.
Why are the Knicks valued so high despite their recent failures?
So, if the Knicks are such a laughing stock in the NBA, how could they possibly be the most valuable franchise in the league? New York, New York, New York.
The “rich corporate base” in New York is directly responsible for such a high valuation, according to Politico. “They’ve sold naming rights without giving up the name,” a source told the publication regarding the deal in which JPMorgan Chase & Co. came to sponsor parts of Madison Square Garden. Last season, despite going 21-45 in the shortened schedule, the Knicks reeled in a cool $428 million in revenue.
It might not matter how low things get in New York. James Dolan and the Knicks can still pump out the highest valuation in the NBA even if they go 0-82 in a season. At this point, that wouldn’t even be surprising.