Posted Dec 3 2008 6:18PM
NEW YORK (AP) -- For the fourth straight year, and despite front office and player turmoil, the New York Knicks are the NBA's most valuable team.
The Knicks are worth $613 million, according to Forbes' latest rankings, an increase of 1 percent over their 2007 value. Throughout the past year, the franchise has made many headlines off the court, ranging from former team president Isiah Thomas being found guilty in a sexual harassment lawsuit to guard Stephon Marbury's feud with management and coach Mike D'Antoni.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Los Angeles Lakers are ranked second by Forbes, at $584 million, up from $560 million.
Rounding out the top five are the Chicago Bulls at $504 million; the Detroit Pistons at $480 million; and the Cleveland Cavaliers at $477 million.
The biggest change in value belongs to the Portland Trail Blazers, who increased by 21 percent to $307 million. They still rank only 20th out of 30 franchises.
Also showing a huge increase are the NBA champion Boston Celtics, up to $447 million from $391 million.
The biggest drop in value hit the New Jersey Nets, who fell 13 percent to $295 million, 26th overall. The Nets have had delays in their plans to build and move into a new arena in Brooklyn.
Below the Nets are the Memphis Grizzlies ($294 million), New Orleans Hornets ($285 million), Charlotte Bobcats ($284 million) and Milwaukee Bucks ($278 million).
The average team value is $379 million.
Forbes ranked the value of franchises in the other major pro sports earlier this year. The Dallas Cowboys topped the NFL at more than $1.6 billion, the New York Yankees led baseball at over $1.3 billion and the Toronto Maple Leafs led the NHL at $448 million.
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