When it comes to wins, the Chicago Bulls are right at the bottom of the NBA standings.
When it comes to money, they’re the cream of the crop.
Forbes released its annual list of the highest-valued franchises in the NBA on Tuesday and the Chicago Bulls sit comfortably in the No. 4 spot. Worth approximately $3.2 billion, the Reinsdorfs are holding one of the NBA’s most prized possessions in the palm of their hand. And as frustrated as fans have been with the continued down-swing for the product on the court, the Bulls market value has only been trending in the opposite direction. The franchise saw a 10 percent increase in value from last season (previously $2.88 billion). Wow.
Here’s a look at the NBA’s Top-10 Most Valuable Franchises:
- New York Knicks: $4.6B
- Los Angeles Lakers: $4.4B
- Golden State Warriors: $4.3B
- Chicago Bulls: $3.2B
- Boston Celtics: $3.1B
- Los Angeles Clippers: $2.6B
- Brooklyn Nets: $2.5B
- Houston Rockets: $2.475B
- Dallas Mavericks: $2.4B
- Toronto Raptors: $2.1B
With the Bulls calling the third biggest city in the United States home, they’ll always be considered among the NBA’s most elite markets. Nonetheless, it’s still crazy to see how far the franchise and the league have grown since the Reinsdorfs purchased the team back in 1985 for a mere $9.2 million (good timing on that one, eh?).
In recent years though, seeing the Bulls name right atop this list has severed as another reminder of how frustrating this situation is. The team is one of the most coveted and valuable in the NBA, with a market full of devoted fans, yet the product on the court resembles no such thing. No amount of money can mask the problems here and now, as the Bulls average attendance has plummeted to 10th in the NBA. Even worse, capacity ranks 23rd in the league. Last time I checked, dollar signs can’t fill the seats.
A change in leadership, however …