NBA Power Rankings: Ranking the 10 Most Passionate Fan Bases in the NBA
With the economy still in the tank basketball attendance numbers have suffered the past couple of years for most teams. There are currently nine teams who are failing to fill up 80 percent of their respective arenas on a nightly basis.
The Philadelphia 76ers have the worst attendance mark in the NBA as they are filling up a disgraceful 68.1 percent of its capacity at Wells Fargo Center. New Jersey, Detroit, Atlanta and Minnesota all join Philadelphia near the bottom.
But enough with the negative stuff. Let's get to the teams who are filling up their buildings consistently with passionate fans.
Here we go.
No. 10: Los Angles Lakers
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You may be wondering why the Lakers come in so low after fielding one of the best teams in basketball, routinely. Don't get me wrong, LA looooooooves the Lakers; it's their team. But the fans don't bring it on a consistent basis like others do.
Maybe it's the beautiful weather year round or the fact that they pack the house with celebrities, but for some reason the attitude at a Laker game is a laid back nonchalant one. It's part of what makes LA great as a city. There's beautiful weather, people and plenty to do which creates the laid back atmosphere.
Lakers fans are so conditioned to seeing Kobe and Co. routinely go deep in the playoffs that they don't celebrate the wins like other fan bases do. The regular season is more of a show for Laker fans whereas the playoffs is when they really start to care.
No. 9: Orlando Magic
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The move to the Amway Center has been greeted with a not so surprising spike in attendance for the Magic. Currently, Orlando's overfilling capacity by 2.2 percent which shows how many fans want to get out and check out the new digs.
But Magic fans aren't just showing up because of the arena, although that helps. In the final season at Amway Arena, a year ago, the Magic finished with 100 percent of the arena full nightly; proving that this fan base loves their basketball team.
Orlando has a good team on the court and passionate fans to support them in the stands. There isn't much more you could ask for if you're a team owner.
No. 8: Utah Jazz
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Jazz fans are tremendous. They consistently pack the arena to support a team who always seems to be one piece away from being a legit contender. Nevertheless it hasn't stopped them from showing up.
Players often talk about how hard it is to play in Utah and the great advantage the Jazz have playing in their building. From the 2007-08 season to last season, the Jazz compiled a remarkable 102-21 record in the confines of EnergySolutions Arena—excluding playoffs.
This season, Utah's already lost a somewhat remarkable seven games at home, although they've managed to combat that with a very solid 12-6 road record.
Bottom line: Jazz fans are rowdy, care about the team and are one of the most intimidating crowds for opposing teams.
No. 7: Oklahoma City Thunder
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The atmosphere at Thunder games is always electric. If you're a big fan of the college basketball atmosphere you would love OKC. The city has really gotten behind the franchise since it moved from Seattle. Regardless of your feelings about that whole debacle, it's not the Thunder fans fault Seattle lost its team.
The Thunder fill up 99.6 percent of their arena on average and it's no surprise considering the product that's been put on the floor. With Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook running the show there isn't a better team to get behind for the next decade.
The fans showed how passionate they are about this team during last year's playoff games against the Lakers. They displayed the kind of energy and support you would expect from a team that's contending for a championship; not one that was an eighth seed in the first round of the playoffs.
Over the years, Thunder fans are likely to rise up on this list as the team becomes a more established franchise.
No. 6: Portland Trail Blazers
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Trail Blazer fans routinely fill the Rose Garden to cheer on the home team. The Blazers pack the Rose Garden to a tune of 102 percent over the past three seasons. Even in a season in which the team's franchise player Brandon Roy hasn't been on the court very often, the Portland crowd still is showing up.
That's a testament of a die-hard fan base. The fans are loud and actively participate in the game instead of just sitting back like they're at home watching on TV.
At the moment, Portland's sporting an 8-15 record but a 13-5 record at home. Playing outside of Rose Garden has proved to be a difficult task for the Blazers this season.
But at least they know that the fans will show up to support them at home.
No. 5: Cleveland Cavaliers
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Despite LeBron James bolting town and heading to South Beach to team up with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, the Cavs fans have continued to support the local team. Cleveland is in the midst of an atrocious season that won't be getting better anytime soon.
Yet the Cavs are filling up Quicken Loans Arena as if LeBron is still in town. Cleveland ranks second in the NBA in average attendance from a body standpoint. The average attendance for a Cavs game this season is 20,562 which is exactly the count last year.
Only crazy die-hard fans would come out to see the 8-32 Cavs. If there was any doubt about the fanhood of Ohioans, it can be put to rest.
Now, Dan Gilbert must find away to put together a competitive basketball team once again in the wake of LeBron's departure.
No. 4: Dallas Mavericks
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I think the picture above pretty much explains how Mavs fans feel about their basketball team. The Mavs have been a playoff fixture over the past decade and have developed into one of the most raucous fan bases.
Right now, Dallas leads the NBA in percentage of the arena filled for games with an oustanding 103.8 percent. In Dallas, Mark Cuban's club is still the hottest ticket in town.
Not many owners represent a fan base but Cuban does for Dallas; he sits in the stands with the fans sporting Mavs apparel at every home game.
There isn't a more passionate Mavs fan than Cuban. But as rowdy as he is at games, he's joined by 19, 924 other fans who bring the same kind of energy that he does to the arena.
No. 3: New York Knicks
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Madison Square Garden is one of the most famous sporting arenas in sports if not the most famous one. The history that has taken place there truly makes it a special place to watch a game.
Knicks fans are starved for a winner after years of frustrating losing seasons. With the addition of Amar'e Stoudemire, the Knicks are back. And the fans haven't been this passionate about a Knicks team in years.
When New York squared off against Boston and Miami in the same week earlier this season, it showed how passionate the fans care about their team. The building was jam packed and had a playoff atmosphere feel to it.
It's great that the Knicks are competitive again because the NBA is much better off when one of the biggest die-hard fan bases has a relevant team to cheer for.
No. 2: Chicago Bulls:
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Chicago fans love their Bulls. And this season Bulls fans lead the league in attendance on average. With Derrick Rose carrying the franchise and a number of quality players around him, Bulls fans have rallied around this team.
They pack the United Center for every home game like it's the last. The crowd is always into the game and is attentive to what is going on during the game.
Chicago is crazy about its sports teams and unlike in baseball where there are two Chicago teams, the Bulls have the entire city devoted to them.
Michael Jordan made the Bulls the franchise they are today but the fans deserve a large share of credit for continuing to support the team after he was long gone.
No.1: Boston Celtics
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I don't need to give out percentages or attendance numbers for you to know the Celtics are the most passionate fan base in the NBA. Boston's won 17 championships and is the most storied franchise in the league—sorry Laker fans, it's the truth.
There fans range from old to young because of how successful the franchise has been over its history. A number of great players have donned a Celtic uniform. And there are three right now in Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce.
When the Celtics aren't good the NBA suffers.
No longer do the Celtics play in the Garden, but fans have brought the same energy that was at the Garden to TD Garden.
Boston is also one of the most intimidating places to play at in the NBA. The fans aren't afraid to heckle players, come up with clever chants and get a little wild.
Nobody beats Boston when it comes to who has the best fans in the league.