It’s (sorta) official. We’re No. 1! IN HATE!!
The team that was left for dead, behind the dormant Seattle Sonics in jersey sales ten years ago and bereft of stars and draft picks five years back, is now worthy of fan hate across America. (Tears up.)
BetOnline, the sports betting outfit, says it geotagged Twitter data in the last month, “tracking tweets, hashtags, and direct keyword phrases about the NBA team fans dislike the most. For example, tracking phrases such as, ‘I hate the Lakers’ or ‘I hate the Nets’... and worse. Over 90,000 tweets were tracked.” (They should have tracked our comments section, too!)
The result is this map...
As you can see, the Nets are hated across a wide swath of America, from Maine to Hawaii. Only the traditional Celtics-Sixers rivalry kept the Nets from sweeping the Northeast. (Apparently no one hates the Knicks that much. Too irrelevant?)
The Nets do need to do more hate work in the Deep South and Intermountain West. The Lakers still rule there. The final tally...
Nets - 25 states
Lakers - 21 states
76ers - 2 states
Celtics - 2 states
A spokesman for BetOnline noted that the Nets and Lakers dominate the hate market but that the dramatic free agent moves and trades that created Brooklyn’s “Big Three” won the day...
The combination of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden (all polarizing players) seems to have finally taken over the country’s dislike for The Los Angeles Lakers, in addition to trumping any other rivalries in the league. The only difference is the Lakers are also one of the league’s most loved teams... with most of this sentiment (both ways) arguably coming just from the love or “hate” of Lebron James.
The 76ers and Celtics got some attention in the northeast, due to Eastern Conference rivalries and the success of the Sixers, but it’s interesting to see the New England area change over from being perennial Lakers haters to Nets haters (some are likely still salty about Kyrie Irving leaving the team).
All in all, it’s safe to say not a whole lot of people want to see these teams win... especially with small market teams, who are very hard to dislike, such as the Utah Jazz doing so well.
There was no discussion of most liked NBA teams (Like we care, we’re the villains in this piece!)
No doubt, the acquisitions of buyouts Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge also played a role the increased hate. (In Europe, there’s similar sentiments about the signing of Mike James. New frontier of hate?)
The Nets have of course reveled in their newfound status as outlaws of the NBA and why not? It’s better to be hated than ignored ... something every longtime Nets fan can appreciate.
Back in March after the Griffin and Aldridge signings, Steve Nash took note of the Nets new villainy at end of a Zoom call with Nets media.
A good laugh to end pregame media availability: Steve Nash finishes his press conference by letting out a ~roar~ — his impression of the Nets being dubbed the “villains” of the NBA. pic.twitter.com/9L0GKmqgWb— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) March 29, 2021
NetsDaily reached out to the Nets in hopes of a comment, but they declined comment. (When you’re hated, you can just spit in the face of convention, you know.)
We can only hope that the marketing and social media types at the HSS Training Center figure out a way to capitalize on the fear and loathing the 2020-21 Brooklyn Nets have engendered. Probably sell better than those replacement jerseys.
- Twitter map shows Nets are most ‘hated’ NBA team across U.S. - Caitlyn Holroyd - The Score