Miami Heat Surpass Lakers As NBA’s Most Popular Team In ESPN Poll Reviewed by Momizat on . [new_royalslider id="289"] The Lakers are one of the premier franchises in all of sports. Even though they struggled through a difficult season, there are still [new_royalslider id="289"] The Lakers are one of the premier franchises in all of sports. Even though they struggled through a difficult season, there are still Rating: 0
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Miami Heat Surpass Lakers As NBA’s Most Popular Team In ESPN Poll

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The Lakers are one of the premier franchises in all of sports. Even though they struggled through a difficult season, there are still a number of loyal fans who back the team.

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Unfortunately, some fans have left the boat. A recent ESPN poll shows that the Miami Heat have now passed the Lakers as the most popular NBA team in America:

Overall, the poll shows that the Heat rank sixth overall among America’s favorite teams — three spots ahead of the Lakers. While Miami is pursuing a three-peat as NBA champion this month in the NBA Finals, the Lakers were 27-55 this season, the worst 82-game record in the history of the franchise.

This past season obviously had a lot to do with the drop off in popularity. The Lakers were barely watchable as they went through their worst season in franchise history. And, only having Kobe Bryant for six games didn’t help matters.

After the season the Lakers just experienced, ranking ninth among all professional sports teams, and second in the NBA, is actually very impressive. With Miami in the midst of their fourth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals, and LeBron James considered the best player in America, it makes sense that the Heat could pass the struggling Lakers.

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But with a new coach coming eventually, and the seventh overall pick in a loaded 2014 draft, the Lakers could quickly turn things around and re-take the top spot.

The ESPN poll was conducted over a 12-month period that ended in March. Overall, the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Green Bay Packers were the three most popular teams in America.
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About The Author

Corey is currently a full-time staff writer for Lakers Nation. He is a passionate follower of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Cowboys and can usually be seen arguing the merits of Kobe Bryant or cursing the decisions of Jerry Jones. He is also a former producer and associate producer for Sirius XM Sports Radio. Follow him on twitter @TheeCoreyH

Number of Entries : 886
  • ra

    Here’s ESPN’s poll:

    Check one of the following (or both):

    0 – You really like the Miami Heat, don’t you
    0 – You really don’t like the Los Angeles Lakers, do you

    Here’s Charles Barkley’s poll:

    Check one of the following (or both):

    0 – You want the Spurs to win, because you don’t like either of those teams, the Miami Heat or the Los Angeles Lakers (they have too many rings, and they don’t share them).
    0 – You don’t like the Chicago Bulls, because they took away my Championships

    Here’s Lakers Nation poll:

    Check one of the following (or both):

    0 – It doesn’t matter if the Miami Heat win or lose, the Los Angeles Lakers are the best team in the history of sports.
    0 – Kobe Bryant is a more skilled player than LeBron

    (I would check both on that last one).

  • e3bonz

    For many a casual fan the season starts right before the playoffs. When all the media begins it hoopla, makes its a much easier choice on which team to support.

    • Jim213

      ESPN= small sample as opposed to more concrete numbers = America’s team.

      http://www.nytimes. com/interactive/2014/05/12/upshot/12-upshot-nba-basketball.html?hp&_r=1

  • Jose

    Boo boo boo boo boo boo screw the Heat.Go Lakers Go!

  • Alejandro

    Lakers better get a great roster or else they will be less popular than a lot of teams.

  • Desmond

    Hiring Lionel Hollins can help the Lakers get much better.Lakers need to improve.

  • Matt Williams

    Lakers always turn things around. Always. This is just more evidence that ESPN is continuously on Lebron’s dick. Constantly.

    • guest1

      you don’t use s2w do you?

      • Matt Williams

        What is that?

  • Kobe Will Get 6

    LeBron shouldn’t be compared to MJ or Kobe in the same light..

    - LeBron complains about the air conditioning: the Spurs were playing in the same game and didn’t complain.
    - LeBron cramps up (second time in Finals): still gets carried off the floor, while a player like Kobe wins a championship with a broken finger on bad legs, and the most recent case walking on/off the court and hitting two clutch free throws on a torn achilles.
    - LeBron is also well known to choke and flop, and doesn’t want to take the big shot.

    In regards to ESPN, THEY ARE DUMMIES / LeBron d***riders – each year look how ridiculous their player ratings are, they (ESPN shows) always give LeBron the benefit of the doubt, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone on a ESPN show said “this is the toughest things a player has ever had to play through and he is the greatest player of all time.”

    • ra

      Agree. And what some on ESPN have said is that the ‘heat (temperature) decided the game, not the Spurs talent, because LeBron was not in the final 3 minutes playing’. They were ‘actually’ appalled, and disbelieving. That’s because they have propped up LeBron for all these years.

      BTW, this is never brought up with other teams, playoffs, etc. Recall in 2008 – Bynum and Ariza could not play in the Finals. In the Lakers loss to the Celtics that year, nobody (ESPN, lame media) EVER brought that up.

      As they said,

      It’s just ‘part of the game’. People get injured, people have issues during the games, during the year, etc.

      And how about the entire seasons 2012 -2014 for the Lakers? Nash was injured during that time, Kobe was injured all last year. Was anybody ‘appalled’? Nope — ‘part of the game’.

      That’s the ‘point’ of being an athlete. You can run faster, jump higher, etc. Do things that are almost superhuman, but with the same body that everybody in the world has – just a little extra. Nobody is Superman. So, pushing performance to ‘any’ limit can result in breakdown, at some point.

      It’s just ‘part of life’.

    • ghost

      Yes, Kobe can’t be compared to LBJ because LeBron is much better player and more clutch. It’s obvious.

      • GhostOnLBJsD*ck

        Lebron and clutch in the same sentence?? lol….ya, like that errant pass to Bosh he threw to him the Pacers series instead of finishing the open lay up he had? so clutch!…(sarcasm, idiot). i love Heat fans trolling on LAKERS forums!

        • ghost

          I love Kobe fanboy’s without any proving, Check clutch stats in last quarters, minutes, seconds. Check deciding games win or bye in PO, and learn that in basketball passing in last seconds is usually the most efficient play. With all sure better than shooting and missing 60-70% of shoots like Kobe. Then you how much better clutch player is LeBron.

          • GhostOnLBJ’sD*ck

            Kobe fanboys? Have you checked the site you’re posting on? You’re on an F–king Lakers blog, dumbass! Why are you even trolling on here unless you’re a closet fan or extremely bored hater? The point is, Kobe has won more games in the final seconds than has Lebron. Lebron has passed off the ball many times and despite whatever “high percentage” you claim or if that is the right play, he has lost nearly every game in which he has done so and be ripped on for it. Like the Golden State game that he passed off the rock, the Pacers playoff game, The Cleveland games, I can go on and on and look them up for you if you’d like. ANd tell me this….why would PROFESSIONAL NBA players and PROFESSIONAL NBA coaches and GMs who were polled the ones who voted Kobe OVERWHELMING over LBJ and every other player as the person they want with the ball in his hands with the last few seconds of game? Are you now claiming to be more intelligent in basketball than actual pro coaches and players? Please dont tell me that think that you are. Cause then you’ve proven that you truly are a joke of man! LOL

          • ghost

            Yeah, it’s lakers blog not Kobe’s blog. So i’m fan of Laker, no Kobe. See the difference? Kobe won more? By his
            4th quarter game? I don’t think so, but with all sure he lost much more games in final seconds.
            ” I can go on and on and look them up for you if you’d lik”

            So come on, go on and go on and put here reasonable data’s from this games proving that this caused more troubles than Kobe games.
            “ANd tell me this….why would PROFESSIONAL NBA players and PROFESSIONAL NBA coaches and GMs who were polled the ones who voted Kobe OVERWHELMING over LBJ and every other player as the person they want with the ball in his hands with the last few seconds of game?”

            Because none of them is looking at real player value at the end but by the media flash. If Kobe win 3 games and miss and lose 10, and LeBron win 5 and miss 2 than media ignores 10 games when Kobe failed and make him God by 3 wins and the same way ignores 5 win James and make him unclutch by 2 wrong decisions. I’m laughing with people like you who can’t look an any facts and only listening what ‘others’ say while any of then can’t call any arguments why is that. There were multum articles in last years with analysis Bryant’s clutch, but some people think that being clutch is made 3-9 shoots only in 5 seconds and media popularity. ROFL

  • Julian Costello

    ESPN is too much up on Lebron’s nuts

  • Archie Donato

    I think this image speaks volumes about Heat and Lakers

  • jona_dia

    This is sad. Just comes to show the power of bandwagons. Even the Lakers have some and have now moved on. I must admit, I didn’t watch as many Laker games as I would have if they were winning but I will still watch once and a while. But first, i’m a Lakers fan for life!! and would never be a fan of another team. Second, i’m a basketball fan! And it the same when it came to the playoffs, it was sad that the Lakers weren’t in (but have been probably some of the best and most exciting playoffs I watch), but I knew who I didn’t want to win: Rockets(mostly Dwight), Clippers(mostly Griffin), and last the Heat(don’t want that 3peat); thereon anyone team winning I would end up being content with as long as the games are exciting. But Lakers are still my team!!

    • blackmanwith2jobs

      I will always be a Lakers fan, in fact all of my favorite teams are the teams that I picked as a young boy. That said, whether we like it or not Barkley is right, the Lakers are not a good team. Your best player is 36 and only played 6 games last year. Your bench sux, we don’t defend. For the Lakers to even make the playoffs they need at least 2 or three new talented players. Look around the league, so many teams loaded with talent, and then there is us. Even look at the 8 seed in the west Dallas, so much more talent than LA. We are quite a ways behind every team in the west that made the playoffs, and without major changes, we will remain behind.

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  • TheTruthKills

    Not surprised. They have the most popular player in the league, they play an entertaining brand of basketball, and have been in the finals for 4 straight years. Those are the things we usually do. We usually have the league’s marquee player, we usually play an elite brand of basketball, we usually compete for rings, but our time has passed. Now all of those distinctions belong exclusively to Miami.

    I’m a Lakers fan for life, but I’m not going to pretend this is surprising. It’s a cycle: fans love you when you’re on top, and hate you when you hit rock bottom. The Heat are on top right now.

    • KB24

      REAL LAKER FANS SHOWS UP IN DOWNS OF THE LAKERS!!! WE WILL RISE AGAIN!!!….one more thing, lakers and celts also had that 4 straight….heat fans are 50% bandwagoners..best player in the league???that is all propped by ESPN…KD IS THE NEW MVP! not lebron…kd(same as kobe) lacks more support while lebron has it all…..the spurs are more enterntaining than the heat mind you

      • TheTruthKills

        -I never said anything bad about Lakers fans so I don’t know where that came from.
        -The Lakers and Celtics went to 4 straight….30 years ago. The poll is about what’s going on today. And today, going to 4 straight finals makes you very popular among casual fans.
        - Most Heat fans are bandwagon fans. That’s a fact
        - I understand that hating LeBron and the Heat is the “cool” thing to do, but come on already. Dude is the best player on the planet right now. That’s not even up for debate. I wish he was on our team.
        - What does support have to do with anything? The Heat decided they wanted to stack their team full of stars to become a dynasty. If they manage to win this year they will have succeeded in their quest. You may not like how it went down but I doubt they care. What you’re really saying is Pat Riley knows how to build a team while Jim Buss and Sam Presti don’t.
        - Who plays the more entertaining game varies by each fans opinion. I’m probably a little biased because I will always detest the Spurs for ending our chances at a 4 peat back in 2003.

  • Maroj1

    Pacers should shut them sometime

  • LosKi

    Tell the world you got a three peat but the Lakers also did it in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

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