The Knicks have returned to the top of Forbes' annual list of NBA franchise values after a one-year absence, surpassing both the Lakers, last year's No. 1 team, and the billion-dollar mark.
Forbes estimated the Knicks' value at $1.1 billion, up 41 percent from last year, a rise the magazine credited mostly to the ongoing renovation of Madison Square Garden.
The improvements helped the Knicks generate an NBA-high $243 million in revenue last season, Forbes said, with a league-best $83 million operating income.
The Lakers dropped to No. 2 among NBA teams, but they also had a rise in value, up 11 percent to $1 billion, joining the Knicks as the first teams to reach that milestone.
The Nets' estimated value rose 48 percent to $530 million, ninth on the Forbes list, albeit with a loss of $17 million. The Bucks ranked last in value at $312 million.
Forbes said the average NBA team is worth $509 million, up 30 percent compared with last year, due in part to the reduction in player costs that came out of the lockout that delayed the 2011-12 season. Teams had an average profit of $11.9 million.