During the most recent NBA lockout, the owners hung their collective hat on the fact that they felt they weren’t profitable enough and the players were asking for too much. Since then, the NBA’s brand has grown and the league is as popular as it’s been since Jordan gave Bryon Russell a gentle little shove (allegedly).
Forbes recently assessed the value of each team and for the first time in history, the average NBA team is valued at over $1 billion. The Lakers, Knicks, Bulls, Celtics and Clippers make up the top 5, but you can view the entire list at Forbes. Also worth note: there are 11 teams valued at over $1 billion, compared to just three last year.
Naturally, this is because of player popularity so they should always have the leverage.