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Lakers among Top 50 most valuable sports franchises

July 21, 2010 |  7:03 pm

The Lakers rank 49th on Forbes' list of the world's most valuable teams, according to figures released Wednesday. That same lists ranks Kobe Bryant as the third highest-paid athlete in the world at $48 million, which covers his salary and endorsement deals. And partly thanks to the Lakers' second consecutive championship, Forbes also says Staples Center remained the most profitable sports venue in the U.S.

Bryant's ranking hardly raised any eyebrows. He recently finished in a first-place tie with Tiger Woods as the favorite American sports star, according to a recent Harris Interactive Poll. He's also topped NBA jersey sales for two consecutive seasons. I did a double take, however, when I scrolled through the list and didn't see the Lakers at the top of the list. When I see teams such as the No. 4 Washington Redskins, No. 18 Cleveland Browns, No. 28 Cincinnati Bengals and even the No. 45 McCourt-sapped Dodgers above the Lakers, it becomes obvious that the rankings are based off profit margins. The Lakers' are valued at $607 million and have collected $209 million in revenue, modest figures compared to No. 1 Manchester United ($1.63 billion in value and $459 million in revenue) and No. 2 Dallas Cowboys ($1.65 billion in value and $280 million in revenue). Fortunately for the Lakers and their fans, owner Jerry Buss measures his team's worth in championships.

--Mark Medina

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