Forbes: Lakers are NBA's most valuable franchise at $2.6 billion

Forbes: Lakers are NBA's most valuable franchise at $2.6 billion
Lakers star Kobe Bryant dunks during a game against Indiana Pacers at Staples Center on Jan. 4. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

The Lakers aren't losers in at least one category.

They are the NBA's most valuable franchise, worth $2.6 billion, according to Forbes' annual rankings that were released Wednesday.

The franchise jumped a whopping 93% from its previous value, strengthened by a new national TV deal that boosted all team values. The Lakers also have a strong local TV deal with Time Warner Cable worth $5 billion over 25 years.

The new $24-billion national TV deal increased the value of the average NBA franchise to $1.1 billion, a 74% jump from last year, according to Forbes.

The New York Knicks are the second-most valuable franchise, coming in at $2.5 billion. They own the league's worst record (6-36).

The Lakers had the NBA’s highest revenue at $293 million last season, according to Forbes, and their operating income last season was an NBA-record $104 million despite Kobe Bryant playing only six games. The franchise could have profited even more but had to pony up $50 million for the league's revenue-sharing pool.

The Lakers (12-30) currently have the NBA's fourth-worst record.