The 2013-14 NBA season has been disastrous for the Los Angeles Lakers. The team is headed to its worst mark since moving to Los Angeles. Despite the struggles, the Lakers remain one of the most popular teams in all of sports.
In addition, Nate Silver and Richie King of FiveThirtyEight found the Lakers to be Google’s most searched NBA Team.
The fact that the Lakers are first should come as no surprise. The Lakers are seen as one of the NBA’s most storied franchises. Their 16 championships are the second most in the NBA, only one behind the Boston Celtics’ 17.
However, the last Laker title and NBA Finals appearance came four years ago. The NBA landscape has changed since then. LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami leading the Heat to three straight NBA Finals appearances and two championships. The Lakers orchestrated a trade to acquire superstar Chris Paul only for the move to vetoed by the league. Paul now plays for the Los Angeles Clippers and led them to two consecutive Pacific Division titles.
Despite the Heat and Clippers’ recent successes, the Lakers still dominate the internet in searches. The Lakers index of 4.47 nearly doubles that of the Heat and Celtics, the second and third highest teams, combined. The Chris Paul-Blake Griffin duo brought the Clippers to an index of 0.58, far below the Lakers’ mark.
Even then, the data collected comes from the last ten years during which the Lakers were a championship team in 2009 and 2010. If the Lakers desire to combat the rising popularity of the Heat and Clippers, this upcoming off-season presents the perfect opportunity. The Lakers possess a high draft pick and plenty of cap space. It will be interesting to see what the Lakers do with those tools.
(H/T to ProBasketballTalk)
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