The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the premier franchises in all of sports, and their net worth has always been a function of that. Even in their worst years they continually bring in a profit and fans across the NBA fill the stands when the Lakers are in town.
Forbes recently released its NBA franchise value rankings and the Lakers ranked second in the NBA, being worth $3 billion:
“The Lakers are worth $3 billion, up 11%. Last season was the worst in franchise history on the court, but the team still made a mint as fans flocked to the Staples Center to see the Kobe Bryant retirement tour.”
The Kobe retirement tour obviously had a lot to do with the profits last season, and Forbes also pointed out that his final game set a record for merchandise sold:
“The team sold out Staples per usual with courtside seats costing $2,750 per game. Bryant’s final game featured $1.2 million worth of Kobe merchandise sold at the Staples Center, setting a one-day sales record for an arena. The Lakers banked $119 million in profit, second most behind the Knicks.”
It is truly amazing that the Lakers have been able to maintain this level of off-court success even as the team struggles on it. Kobe was a major reason for that, but with him now retired it will be interesting to see if the franchise can continue raking in these profits.
The Lakers have a promising young core as players like D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, and Jordan Clarkson have a ton of potential. None are superstars who will drive in fans, however, and how long it will take for them to reach their potential is a major question mark.
The Golden State Warriors, currently ranked third by Forbes, are rising quickly. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that the Lakers fall down the list some if they don’t develop a star soon.