Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Map of NBA fandom exposes teamless Northwest

Posted By on Tue, May 13, 2014 at 3:55 PM

click to enlarge NEW YORK TIMES
New York Times

Are we tired of these professional sports fandom maps yet? Seeing the island of Seahawks fans here in the Northwest was fun given the way the Super Bowl turned out, and the MLB map confirmed Yankees-haters’ worst fears. They’re everywhere. But now, with the NBA playoffs, we’ve got a map of professional basketball fandom — and with the SuperSonics long gone, it’s clearly a sore spot for the Northwest.

Just look at that vast lavender swath of sorta-Lakers-fans, which seems to be the default for any part of the country without a team. When it comes to basketball allegiance, Seattle’s in the same aimless group as the Dakotas.

This is partially a limitation of the data being used, since it measures Facebook “Likes” of teams’ official pages. But a whole section (scroll to the bottom) is devoted to poor Seattle, which has not happily adopted the Trail Blazers.

Northwest fans seem to be holding out for the day when the perennial rumors about a new team come true, even after hopes have been dashed again and again. Speculation started up all over again when new NBA commissioner Adam Silver took over in February, but he quickly clarified that the league isn’t planning to add teams anytime soon. And, just today, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray told the Seattle Times that there’s no proposal or anything solid at this point. Keep on hoping, NBA fans.

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About The Author

Lisa Waananen

Lisa Waananen is the web editor and a staff writer at the Inlander. She specializes in data and graphics, and her recent cover stories have been about family history, the legacy of Spokane photographer Charles A. Libby and genetically modified food...