The Top 5 Most Popular NBA Teams

NBA teams have made basketball a popular sport worldwide. Basketball is a fast-paced game where final scores often go over 100 points for each team. With this fast pace and the chance of tables turning at any moment, the NBA is one of the most-watched leagues in the world. 

And NBA teams have a strong following with fans snatching up jerseys and hats belonging to their favorite teams. Some of the most popular NBA teams are those that have won championships like the Boston Celtics of '65, Los Angeles Lakers of '87 or Chicago Bulls of '97. 


If you're a fan of the NBA, the odds of having a favorite team you support are incredibly likely. Even if you cheer for your favorite player, he's playing for a team, so it's likely you've got a soft spot for that team too. Up next we're going to tell you about the most popular NBA teams today.  

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The Most Popular NBA Teams 

Many famous basketball fans prefer to root for glamorous teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers or the Miami Heat. While the Lakers have had the most significant divide between passionate diehards and fair-weather supporters, the Heat fan base makes them look like the league's most loyal fans.

It is up to you to decide which NBA team is the most popular. Not all basketball franchises were created equal, and here's your chance to have a say and make sure your favorite basketball team is represented. 


Here are the top 5 most popular NBA teams ranked by their historic success throughout the NBA franchise.

Philadelphia 76ers

  • Win Percentage: 51.1
  • Years per Playoff Appearance: 1.45
  • Years per Finals Appearance: 7.56
  • Years per Championship: 22.67
  • All-Stars per Season: 1.47

Currently, the latest five-year cycle of lottery finishes and bottoming out is only the third time the Sixers have skipped the playoffs for more than two seasons in succession. This team made its NBA debut as the Syracuse Nationals in 1949-50, and it would soon reel off 22 consecutive trips to the playoffs.

Chicago Bulls

  • Win Percentage: 52.2
  • Years per Playoff Appearance: 1.17
  • Years per Finals Appearance: 6.83
  • Years per Championship: 6.83
  • All-Stars per Season: 1.29

The Bulls have made six journeys to the championships and each one was a win. Sure, they all featured Michael Jordan as the roster's central figure, and he was joined by talented supporting casts consisting of notable names such as Scottie Pippen, Toni Kukoc, Horace Grant, and Steve Kerr and many more. 


San Antonio Spurs

  • Win Percentage: 62.4
  • Years per Playoff Appearance: 1.11
  • Years per Finals Appearance: 6.83
  • Years per Championship: 8.2
  • All-Stars per Season: 1.32

They have the highest winning percentage in the NBA, and the distance between them and the Los Angeles Lakers in second place is significant. Moreover, if the Spurs dropped out of the league, 370 straight games would have to be played by the Lakers to reach a higher score. 

This helps San Antonio's score one wee bit, of course. It also does make the playoffs faster than any other franchise, as it's missed out on the after-season fun just four times since merging into the NBA.

Boston Celtics

  • Win Percentage: 58.9
  • Years per Playoff Appearance: 1.31
  • Years per Finals Appearance: 3.38
  • Years per Championship: 4.18
  • All-Stars per Season: 1.99

A staggering 141 All-Star appearances were logged by the Boston Celtics. Some 28 Hall of Famers were with the franchise for at least one season. And 23 numbers (a generous term owing to Jim Loscutoff and Johnny Most) hang from the arena rafters.

No franchise has produced more All-Stars per season or, on average, spent less time between championships.

LA Lakers

  • Win Percentage: 59.8
  • Years per Playoff Appearance: 1.15
  • Years per Finals Appearance: 2.23
  • Years per Championship: 4.31
  • All-Stars per Season: 1.99

For the Los Angeles Lakers fanbase, the last four years have been tough because this is entirely uncharted territory. During the 2015-16 season (17-65), they had the worst record in franchise history, and missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1976.

Before 2013, just five times had the purple and gold watched the playoffs from afar. The playoffs were not a target, so much as a reasonable year in and year out hope. The Lakers have attached to them a specific prestige factor. And that's why they can still lure in prominent free agents.

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People's favorite NBA team might be the one closest to where they live. But people also usually have one of the above teams among their favorite teams because of their popularity and the players that play for those teams. Either way, regardless of team, basketball matches are always full of action.

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