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Forbes ranks the Warriors as the NBA’s third-most valuable team

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With a $3.5 billion valuation, the Warriors have come a long way. A very long way.

NBA: Golden State Warriors-Championship Parade Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

It was less than nine years ago that Joe Lacob led a team of investors who purchased the Golden State Warriors for $450 million. And it’s pretty safe to say that the purchase looks very good right now.

As they do every year, Forbes ranked the valuation of every NBA franchise, based on . . . well . . . all the ways that sports franchises are profitable businesses.

The Warriors are third in the league, at a whopping $3.5 billion, trailing only the New York Knicks ($4.0 billion) and Los Angeles Lakers ($3.7 billion).

Of course, valuations are a kind of odd way of looking at organizations. As Lacob has pointed out in the past, he wouldn’t consider selling the team right now for that price, or anything close to it, so that kind of defeats the purpose of the valuation.

But it’s still a remarkable amount of financial growth that the Warriors have seen. They’ve taken themselves from laughing stocks on the court and in the bank account to a dynasty on the court and an enormous player at the bank.

Their glow up has been stunning. They’ve grown a league-best 367% in the last five years, which is unreal.

Of course, most of us care a lot more about what happens on the court and with the banners than in the financial records. Luckily for us, they’re doing pretty darn well there, too.