Which NBA Teams Does Your Town Root For?

Like they did for baseball fandoms, The Upshot has put together a map of which zip codes root for which NBA teams, based on Facebook data. It's pretty cool.

The Lakers are unsurprisingly dominant, claiming huge swathes of both the West and East and denying the Clippers even a single zip code. The Heat are in control of most of the Southeast, while the Celtics snag a scattering of zip codes in the Mid-Atlantic and Kentucky. Some other interesting notes:

  • There's not a lot of residual love for transplanted teams; the Thunder don't even hit top-three in any Seattle-area zip codes, and northern New Jersey has quickly shifted its allegiance to the Lakers, Knicks, and Heat.
  • Not to worry though, the Thunder get plenty of support at home. Nine local counties give at least 70 percent of their Facebook likes to Oklahoma City; to compare, the Lakers and Bulls have zero such counties, and the Celtics appear to have just one (Rockingham County, New Hampshire).
  • Compared to MLB teams, a lot of NBA franchises—notably the Hawks, Grizzlies, Bobcats, Wizards, Magic, 76ers, and Kings—seem to see their fanbases precipitously drop off as you leave their home metro areas. While these squads haven't seen a lot of playoff success, this also speaks to the fact that the NBA is disproportionately popular in cities.

Head over the The Upshot to play around with interactive, read some more analysis, and check out Canada's leanings (spoiler: still the Lakers).

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[NYTimes]