Despite being among the weakest teams in the league – if not the weakest – the New York Knicks are still unimpeachable NBA kings when it comes to the only metric that ultimately matters in professional sports: cold hard cash, baby! Despite not reaching the playoffs since 2013, the Knicks are the most valuable team in the NBA for the fourth year running, with their dollar value reaching US$4 billion for the first time.

For context, that puts them above the Los Angeles Lakers, who you might naturally assume to be the most valuable, sitting at a comparatively measly US$3.7 billion.

All of this is revealed in Forbes‘ yearly breakdown of the lucrative NBA money world, which reports that the Knicks are tied for the second most valuable sports franchise in the US (with the iconic New York Yankees) behind only the mammoth Dallas Cowboys, valued at US$5 billion.

The rise in the Knicks’ value – which clearly has nothing to do with their actual performance as a team – has been enabled by renovations and upgrades to Madison Square Garden in NYC, which has opened up new revenue streams.

Just to hammer home the point about their actual performance: they’re sitting at the very bottom of the tables with a 10-43 win-loss record. But the brand! The brand is strong.

There has been a general increase in revenue and profit in the NBA world, which Forbes chalks up to “equally-shared revenue like national media, sponsorships, licensing and international streams.”

Truly an inspirational tribute to the power of the brand and merchandising above all else.