The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

29 December 2005

Working on that productivity

The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel seems to be upset that the Hornets, as a team, are worth a mere $225 million, less than any other NBA team, according to the annual Forbes tabulation. Considering that the two smallest markets with NBA activity are the Bees' regular home and their temporary home — and considering that the hapless Knicks and the marginally-hapful Lakers, in the top two markets, place one-two on the Forbes list — methinks Mr. Tramel doth protest too much. And the #30 Hornets only lost a couple of million dollars last year; the #29 Portland Trailblazers (worth a stirring $227 million) hemorrhage almost that much cash in a month, and have been for years.

Besides, Forbes has a more interesting chart: Player Relative Productivity Score, in which the 100 highest-paid NBA players are rated in terms of performance versus salary over the past three years. The Hornets, down in Poverty Row, have only two of them, but both are well ahead of the Forbes average: Desmond Mason ($7.2 million a year) comes in at 117, and P. J. Brown ($8 million) at a startling 157, seventh in the league. If nothing else, George Shinn would seem to be getting (some of) his money's worth. (The cellar-dweller player — name withheld in case his mom is reading — scored a pitiful 29; at the other end, Chauncey Billups of the Pistons, apparently underpaid at $5.9 million, comes in with a score of 189.)

And consider this: the Knicks, top of the NBA financial heap, are worth $543 million, three times annual revenues. The allegedly bottom-feeder Bees are worth $225 million, 2.88 times revenues. If we could get Madison Square Garden ticket prices at the Ford Center — but never mind, let's not go there. (Heck, we couldn't afford to go there.)

Posted at 6:43 PM to Net Proceeds