For quite some time now, the Lakers have been the benchmark franchise in the NBA. Over the last 13 years, the Lakers have five titles and seven Finals appearances, more than any other team. Without all that success, the value of the Lakers has continued to grow. Forbes.com recently released their annual rankings of the sports most valuable franchises, with the Lakers coming it at #31.
The Lakers, owned by the Buss family, have actually nearly doubled their value of $643 million two years ago. Despite getting to the $1 billion mark, the Lakers fell from 2nd in 2011 to their 31st ranking. Forbes cited the current “transition phase” the Lakers are going through with the passing of Dr. Buss last season.
The Lakers are in a transition phase with the February death of team patriarch Jerry Buss. He bought the Lakers in 1979 for $20 million and led the team to 16 NBA Finals appearances. The Lakers’ revenue surged this past season in the first year of their new television deal with Time Warner Cable, which could be worth $5 billion over 25 years.
As stated by Forbes, the Lakers new TV deal with TWC will certainly increase their value over the forthcoming years. Hopefully success comes with that money, who will be able to spend some of that money next summer in their likely spending spree on free agents.