AmericanBettingExperts reveals the NBA’s ‘most followed’ fanbase based on social media followers. Which team has the largest following?
The National Basketball Association, commonly known as the NBA, is the largest professional basketball league in the world and one of the most popular competitive leagues in sport.
The NBA is composed of 30 teams across the United States (plus the Toronto Raptors in Canada). However, its following spans across the globe, with huge fanbases in the likes of Asia and Europe.
NBA fans are known for taking monumental pride over two things – their team’s success, and the passion of their fanbase. It’s the same script among NFL fans.
In 2024, what’s the most accurate way to assess a sports team’s following? By taking a look at their social media profiles. At AmericanBettingExperts, we have calculated each NBA franchise’s total follower count from the most-used social media apps – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok.
So, let’s reveal which NBA team has the biggest fanbase. For the record, there are more than 476 million followers of the official NBA team accounts across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok.
The Los Angeles Lakers take the prize of the most followed NBA team across all major social media channels! The Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls make up the top three. We have an inclination as to why these three teams have the largest following, which we will divulge in later.
It’s bad news for the Detroit Pistons, who receive the unwanted bottom-spot in our standings. So, let’s take a look at our complete most followed NBA team table.
League Table: Most Followed NBA Teams
|Los Angeles Lakers
|Golden State Warriors
|San Antonio Spurs
|Oklahoma City Thunder
|Los Angeles Clippers
|New York Knicks
|Portland Trail Blazers
|New Orleans Pelicans
(*Followers to nearest 100,000. Total followers = Instagram + Facebook + Twitter + TikTok followers of official NBA team accounts).
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Which NBA Team Has the Biggest Fanbase?
So, AmericanBettingExperts’ study of NBA team social media accounts has concluded that the Los Angeles Lakers have the ‘biggest fanbase’. Let’s take a look at the top 5 and make our claims as to why those have found themselves in the top spots.
1. Los Angeles Lakers (60.2 Million)
The Lakers are one of the most marketable sports teams in the world. For a start, the team are based in Los Angeles – the home of Hollywood, Venice Beach and countless celebrities.
But it’s not just about the glitz and glamor when it comes to the Lakers. They have won the joint-highest number of NBA championships, having won 17 titles in their history. Only the Boston Celtics (#7 in our league table of most followed NBA franchises) have won as many.
What breeds championships? Great players. And that is exactly what Los Angeles has had over the years. Wilt Chamberlain, Koby Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and, currently, LeBron James.
The question you really have to ask yourself – why on earth wouldn’t the Lakers have millions, upon millions, of followers?
2. Golden State Warriors (59.6 Million)
Officially, Golden State Warriors are the most valuable NBA franchise. And where did a large chunk of that ‘value’ come from? The team’s dominance in the 2010s is a huge factor.
From 2015 to 2019, Golden State reached five consecutive NBA Finals. The team won NBA Championships in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2022. In an era of social media during the franchise’s success, it is no coincidence that the Warriors’ social media accounts grew rapidly.
Golden State Warriors have one of the largest fanbases in the NBA too due to their incredible players throughout history. The likes of Kevin Durant, Wilt Chamberlain and Rick Barry threw on the jersey in their career. Stephen Curry, one of basketball’s greatest ever talents, is now in his 15th season as the Golden State poster boy.
3. Chicago Bulls
You might have seen The Last Dance on Netflix. Or, you might know the story from elsewhere. Either way, the Chicago Bulls have an extraordinary (and marketable) story.
In short, the story goes like this. Michael Jordan, his coach Phil Jackson and teammate Scottie Pippen led Chicago to six NBA Championships between 1991 and 1998. The successes were made up of two three-peats, and numerous records were broken along the way.
Michael Jordan contributed to basketball’s global rise in popularity, which meant that many of those fans naturally followed the Chicago Bulls. It is no surprise that the Chicago Bulls have one of the biggest fanbases in the NBA.
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Which NBA Team Has the Smallest Fanbase?
We’ve taken a look at the big hitters in the social media world. Now, let’s explore the three NBA franchises with the lowest follower counts across all major social media platforms.
30. Detroit Pistons
It is safe to say that the Detroit Pistons are currently the worst team in the NBA. This season, the franchise lost a record 28 consecutive games in a row. Nobody really wants to be a Piston fan right now.
Detroit was one of the league’s biggest threats in the 2000s and had firepower in many areas of the court. However, in the social media era, the franchise has really struggled to gather any sort of momentum or generate any success. They are the forgotten team of the NBA, which is ironic given their state counterparts’ recent success in the NFL.
29. Minnesota Timberwolves
This season sees the Timberwolves lighting up the Western Conference with a significant number of wins already racked up. So why does the franchise have one of the NBA’s smallest fanbases on social media?
The reason is almost always down to success. Minnesota has delivered one winning season since 2004-05, which is pretty terrible. As a result, NBA fans across the globe have been lacking a Minnesota Timberwolves presence in the latter stages of the NBA season – a time when NBA viewer numbers and attention is at its peak.
However, Minnesota are set for a big end to 2024. This could result in some newfound Timberwolves fans.
28. Charlotte Hornets
The third-smallest fanbase in the NBA, going by social media following, is the Charlotte Hornets.
Wasting away in the bottom half of the Western Conference, it is no wonder they have one of the smallest fanbases in the NBA. Did you know that the Hornets had the worst offence last season, and ranked 29th for both overall shooting and three-pointers?
Other than arguably LaMelo Ball, the Hornets don’t have any stardom in their ranks. They are yet to win an NBA Championship, and have never really attracted any huge players to Charlotte. With no global personality or appeal, it’s no wonder the Hornets are one of the least-followed NBA franchises.