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.
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.
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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