Fans are one of the best parts of sports culture. And basketball fans are a league entirely their own. These diehard supporters are constantly seen rooting for their favorite teams and players from the sidelines, even when they don’t win them championships.
However, not all NBA fanbases are created equal as some have clearly established themselves as the proudest, biggest, largest, or rowdiest of the bunch. In this article we take a more specific look at five of basketball’s largest NBA fanbases.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are undoubtedly one of the NBA’s most lucrative franchises and also happen to be tied with the Boston Celtics for most Championship Finals wins with a grand total of 17. However, their past successes are only one aspect of what makes this organization tick. In L.A., massive crowds of exuberant fans venture to the team’s home stadium at the Staple Center each year, ready to cheer on Lebron, Anthony Davis, and other playmakers as they take to the court.
Decked out in purple and gold, these supporters are some of professional basketball’s most loyal and determined fans. For example, this season as Lebron’s devastating ankle injury took him off the roster for more than a month, Lakers fans stood by the team (as they should) and continue to do so now with the All-Star powerhouse set to return in upcoming games.
In fact, even with a tumultuous regular season full of ups and downs, today’s best basketball bets by OLBG.com suggest that the Lakers have a great chance at taking home a back-to-back Finals win in 2021. As the post-season race sets in, fans are expectant and hopeful for big things. One thing’s for certain: if the Lakers secure an 18th Championship victory, there is likely to be even more L.A. supporters arriving on the scene in the near future.
One name easily explains the craze behind the Chicago Bulls: Michael Jordan. The player who transformed the world of basketball and impacted athletic shoe brands forever also helped change the landscape of NBA fandom. In the 1990’s, the Bulls became the most successful franchise of the moment with the most upbeat, rowdy supporters of all time. Between 1991 and 1998, the team raged through the nation, establishing themselves as more than just a sports organization, rather a cultural phenomenon.
Today, fans can thank this period for the team’s continued popularity as members like Jordan and Scotty Pippen played a huge part in making the NBA a league of the world rather than one whose fans exists solely in the U.S. Of course, nowadays the Bulls aren’t as high-performing as they once were with Jordan but nevertheless, they continue to pull big in terms of fan attendance and engagement.Golden State Warriors
When it comes to modern-day basketball, the Golden State Warriors have won the hearts of many fans, especially after star player Steph Curry managed to bring Finals glory to the franchise in 2015, 2017, and 2018. Since then, fandom in the Bay Area has risen to new heights as many call themselves proud supporters.
In fact, the GSW even have a special name that they go by-the Dubs, a nickname that is have believed to have originated in the ‘90s. So, for fans that happen to be a part of their followership, these people are proudly known as members of “Dub Nation.” These days, Dub Nation continues to expand, especially as the franchise fights against their home state rival, the Lakers for a high-ranking spot in the Western Conference.
The Boston Celtics are one of the league’s oldest teams, having originated as one of the original eight teams at a time when the NBA was known by its former name, the Basketball Association of America (BAA). With this in mind, it’s clear that the Celtics have sure had a lot of time to build a long-lasting, loyal fanbase. And that they have, with a 174% increase in supporters over the past 5 years, the organization continues to expand in supporter participation.
Like the Lakers, the franchise has won a total of 17 championships during their time in the league, establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with in both the older and modern times of professional basketball.Miami Heat
Last but not least, Heat fans are known around the league for bringing a high-pitched noise level with them to whatever court they watch Miami play at. But most especially when Dwayne Wade makes a play, these arenas feel like they are vibrating with resounding cheers.
The franchise has always had great fan attendance, not to mention they are three-time NBA Finals Champions.