The Dawn of a New Type of NBA Fan

Christopher TorresContributor IAugust 8, 2010

I grew up in the era where, if you're from Massachusetts, you were a Boston Fan. If you were from New York, you were a Knicks fan. If you were from Los Angeles, you were a Lakers fan.  Win lose or draw, you were a fan.  You didn't hop on bandwagons when your team lost, or a key player from your team retired or got traded. Today's era is different.  I truly think the "80's babies" are the last era of people with common sense. The media has brainwashed those of the 90's and will continue to do so with the 2000's.

What has cause this shift in fans?  Some possible things could be: The NBA has mainstreamed to the point of no return, polluted with fanboys that don't know the history of the game, wouldn't know loyalty (unless their team is winning) if it bit them on the behind, the rise of the Internet and good ol' media personalities.

The history of the game, is just that.  Where do you think super star players such as Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James get their moves from?  Get their styles from?  Do you just think they make this stuff up? 

To be a real fan is more then going out and buying your favorite players jersey, and posting ridiculous opinionated comments.  You are just a cheerleader or fanboy/girl.  There is nothing wrong with that, as long as you don't try to engage in a debate to where you know nothing about the history, and/or subject being debated upon. 

My advice to all the B/R fanboys and cheerleaders making a spectacle out of themselves with over the top comments and articles, is learn before you speak, type, or text.  A wise person once said "It is better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt."  Cue:  Miami Heat fans, and those who have flocked and become bandwagon fans.  Anything said about this team, other then they are the greatest thing since sliced cheese, is considered to be a "Heat hater", or "jealous".

If your points are merely personal opinions, it is highly probable you don't know the game (majority of the comments on B/R).  You fall under the category of the "ESPN era"

If your points are based on facts and stats, you are most likely the average watcher. The ones who go to the game, and study about the past, and most likely were a teenager in the 90's.

Then you have the die-hard NBA fans that have been watching for 15+ years: These fans outdate the Shaq/Kobe/Wade eras.  These people have the insight that most others don't.  These are the people who prove the most points, while having the most valid arguments with facts.  They lived before or during the Show-Time Lakers/Celtics Larry Bird era,  the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan era.  These are the ones who you should be listening to and taking advice from, not trying to argue against, put down, or insult.  You could learn a thing or two from these guys. 

I am not saying "ALL" or "MOST" fans from any of these categories are right, or wrong.  History proves this.  Those who study the positive things in history, are most likely to repeat the positive things but apply them in  today's modern era.

The entire concept of loyalty seems to no longer exist between team and fan.  The way the game is shaping up, the bond seems to exists between player and fan.  When/if the player leaves, so does the fan.  That is not a fan of the team, or of the NBA,  that is a fan of the player.

If their team is losing, they will find excuses, instead of acknowledging the problem. If their team is winning, the fan then becomes nothing more then a cheerleader.  If the team's star player leaves  the previous team's fans hate the player.  The team receiving that star player now says anything possible to justify said player leaving.  Put the shoe on the other foot other team.  If your star player would have left, you would be in the same boat, hating your star player and very bitter about the whole situation. 

The ignorance of some of these fanboys is unbelievable.  The smarter NBA fan will get what I mean,  while the cheerleaders  and fanboys will be lost.

Then you have the rise of the Internet.  The place where the know-it-all and E-bully/E-tough guys thrive.  The place where you can get lost in a world, outside of the real world.  This is a place where the majority of the trash talking takes place.  The bandwagon fans indulge in this setting.  They can sit behind their pretty little computers, talk trash and post all the garbage they want.

I have only been a "member" of the B/R community for a few weeks, but before joining, I have read countless articles, and have observed some pretty ludicrous comments  and articles from:  "Members", "Contributors" and "Featured Columnists".

Bottom line: Real fans are fans of there TEAM, not the PLAYERS they acquire, or lose or draft.


What do you think is wrong with today's fans? 

Why has there been a shift in team loyalty?

Has the media really been that big of an impact on today's fans?