Following the success of their MLB fandom map, the New York Times “Upshot” team of cartographers is back, this time with an interactive map charting NBA fandom across the country.
Much like the MLB map, these data points were gathered and analyzed via the number of Facebook “likes” of each NBA team.
Fans should check out the interactive map and play around with it themselves, but here are some observations:
The Lakers and the Heat have the most bandwagon fans. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who follows basketball closely or frequent sports online forums. Kobe Bryant and LeBron James fans have a reputation that is, at best fanatical and at worst, absolute trolls.
Seattle is still very mad at losing the Sonics. They do not support the Thunder, like, at all.
The Bulls have many fans in neighboring states outside Chicago. Both Indiana and Milwaukee have a significant number of fans who prefer the Bulls to the Pacers or the Bucks. Could these be fans who grew up during the Michael Jordan/Scottie Pippen era?
The guys who made the charts consider the Grizzlies a “small-market team” that has not “had much postseason success lately”. Um, small-market, yes, not much postseason success is definitely arguable.
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