Forbes lists the New York Knicks as the most valuable National Basketball Association franchise

Los Angeles Lakers fans wearing Lebron James jerseys have helped boost the club among the five most valued sports franchises in North America according to the latest annual analysis of NBA business figures released Tuesday by Forbes magazine

The team's standing means only the Dallas Cowboys are worth more among North American sports franchises, with Forbes having already named the National Football League (NFL) outfit as the world's most valuable sports team at a cool US$5 billion. The Warriors' new arena, the Chase Center, is the centerpiece of the team's empire, securing $2 billion in income before it even opened its doors last September.

'We are actively looking for a new president of the New York Knicks and hope to conclude the search as quickly as possible, ' Dolan said in a statement.

The rise in valuations comes months after the season began in controversy when Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted his support for Hong Kong's pro-democracy demonstrators in a since-deleted post that included an image captioned: "Fight For Freedom". It also reported that the NBA's 30 teams generated a record US$8.8 billion in revenue last season, up ten per cent over the previous year.

The Chicago Bulls (US$3.2 billion) and Boston Celtics (US$3.1 billion) are also worth more than US$3 billion.

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Knicks fans may feel like they have something to brag about. The Knicks topped the list, with the Lakers at number-two and the Warriors third.

The franchise valuations come one week after owner James Dolan re-assigned team president Steve Mills while stressing that he is not interested in selling the club. Interim coach Mike Miller, who replaced the fired David Fizdale, could be brought back, but the team is reportedly searching for another replacement.

Boston ranked ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers, who are valued at $2.6 billion, and the Brooklyn Nets, who are valued at $2.5 billion.

While the ratings represent a short-term dip, these numbers point to a much larger, positive trend for the health of the league.

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