What happens to the value of your team when your superstar departs, attendance and interest dwindle, and your win totals straight plummet? Yes, millions and millions of hypothetical dollars are lost, like driving a mint Ferrari off the lot and promptly crashing it into a wall.
Forbes did their annual breakdown of the NBA's most valuable teams, and in their estimation, the Cleveland Cavaliers are worth about 26% less than they were last year. Bummer for Dan Gilbert. Forbes put the value of the wine and gold at $355 million, good for 15th in the league.
The Cavs aren't the only team struggling:
The bad economy and a few suspect markets (Minnesota, Sacramento, Indiana among others) drained profitability during the 2009-10 season due to lower ticket receipts. Operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) fell to an average of $6.1 million, 22% lower than the previous season and the lowest figure since the 2002-03 season. Worse, 17 teams lost money, the most since the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season. Several franchises like the Detroit Pistons and the New Orleans Hornets are on the market, but can’t find buyers at the right price.
If you factor in gut-punching, however, no one can compete with Cleveland's utterly sad-sack lot.