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New York Knicks NBA's Most Valuable Franchise -- Forbes

Amare Stoudemire has helped the New York Knicks return to NBA relevance, if not glory, on the court. Off the court, the signing of Stoudemire as a free agent has helped the Knicks overtake the Los Angeles Lakers as the most valuable franchise in the NBA.

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That news comes from Forbes.com, which has released its annual list of the league's most valuable franchises. Forbes says the Knicks are worth $655 million, 12% more than a year ago. They assess Stoudemire's value this way:

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Signing Amar’e Stoudemire has been a big help both on the court and with sponsors. The Knicks sold out their full-season ticket inventory for the first time since the 2001-02 season. The Knicks’ parent company, Madison Square Garden, Inc., signed a sponsorship deal with JPMorgan Chase in September that’s worth at least $30 million a year over 10 years.

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The Lakers are No. 2 on the list. The New Jersey Nets are currently listed No. 21 among the NBA's 30 teams in terms of overall value. The Nets, with new owner Mikhail Prokhorov, are valued at $312 million.

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