“With the first pick in the 2003 NBA draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select LeBron James”. This statement, delivered by David Stern (commissioner of the NBA at the time), changed everything for not only the Cavaliers, but the city of Cleveland as a whole. All the way up until 2010, LeBron was committed to the Cavs and made them into a team that was not only well respected, but also feared across the league. After the (first) departure of LeBron, the Cavs no longer seemed to hold the same amount of strength as they had in previous season; however, they hit the jackpot with the #1 pick in the 2011 draft with future All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. Although Irving struggled to bring the Cavs success in his first few years, he reignited the team’s spirits and potential. When LeBron returned in 2014, the city was joyous and the passion to win was back. During all of LeBron’s next four years as a Cavalier, he carried them to 4 straight NBA Finals appearances. Their most notable performance was coming back from being down 3-1 in the Finals and winning. The city of Cleveland was then branded as “The Land” as it was the center of focus across the league. This season, the team is fresh and young and is led by young guard Collin Sexton who has nothing but success in his future. With all of this going on for the Cavs, it is clear as to why they rank 5th in FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Teams ranking.
Photo courtesy of the Cavaliers Grandmother Club
Here’s the list of teams which have been announced so far:
7) Miami Heat
5) Cleveland Cavaliers
The NBA is unique in many aspects of fan support. It is very difficult to rank a team based solely off of their on or off court success. Therefore, FanWide chose to use data from both categories to create a ranking that is one of a kind. All the metrics used in this ranking were weighted equally in order to ensure there was a balance between the different factors. Additionally, all of the metrics were applicable to all 30 of the NBA teams. As a result, our top ten ranking is the most balanced and unique ranking for NBA teams. More information about our methodology can be found here. FanWide will be releasing the top ten NBA fan clubs in the next few weeks.
Cleveland Cavaliers Rankings
|Fan Clubs on FanWide||79||2|
|NBA Championships since 1977||1||9|
|All-Stars (last 5 years)||9||5|
|National Games Televised Last Year (ABC, ESPN, TNT, NBA TV)||7||23|
|Wins (last 5 years)||244||7|
|Value (in billions)||1.3||15|
|Total Followers (in millions)||18.79||5|
Fan Clubs on FanWide: 79 (2nd)
Cleveland is a very small city, yet that does not correlate with the support that Cleveland fans across the nation give towards the Cavaliers. Being second across the league for the number of fan clubs on FanWide is no joke. This is obviously a result of the success the organization has had with stars such as LeBron, Kyrie, Kevin Love, and many more. Additionally, they were able to make 5 NBA Finals appearances in the since 2007.
NBA Championships Since 1977: 1 (9th)
I once again will reiterate, LeBron James changed everything for the better in Cleveland. In his 4th year in the NBA, LeBron was able to carry the Cavaliers to the NBA finals, yet they fell short against the San Antonio Spurs. When LeBron returned in the 2015 season, he led the Cleveland, along with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, to 4 straight finals appearances, being able to convert on one of them with the historic 3-1 comeback in 2016 against the Warriors. Although the team is rebuilding currently, they are definitely one to watch out for in the next few years as they have always struck gold with their lottery picks.
All-Stars (last 5 years): 9 (5th)
This current season, LeBron James is playing in LA for the Lakers. Last season, Kyrie Irving was traded to the Boston Celtics. Kevin Love still remains on the team. Although this powerful trio does not exist anymore, a few years ago they were getting many all-star nominations. They were able to total 9 in the past years which is a very impressive number as it puts them within the top five across the league.
National Games Televised Last Year (ABC, ESPN, TNT, NBA TV): 7 (23rd)
National television is a business. These channels broadcast teams that pose the strongest viewing interest from fans across the league. This metric shows a clear correlation between the Cavs rebuilding and their publicity on national television. Nevertheless, when they are back and better, the Cavs will definitely always be broadcasted nationally.
Wins (last 5 years): 244 (7th)
In the past 5 years, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love have lead the charge in making strong regular season pushes. The Cavs always managed to place towards the top of not only the Eastern Conference, but the NBA as a whole. Since LeBron came back and brought Kevin Love, the Cavs never won less than 50 regular season games.
Attendance (average): 20,562 (2nd)
The city of Cleveland is not even within the 50 largest cities across the United States, yet they are somehow able to place second across the league in attendance. This however, is not because of luck. In the past few years, the Cavs have been absolutely dominant which definitely increased fan support in the city. Also, basketball is the main sport of the city.
Value (in billions): 1.3 (15th)
Despite the strength and history that the Cavs have, the franchise still ranks fairly low in value across the NBA. This is because of Cleveland being a smaller market in relation to other cities involved in the NBA. Being ranked the 51st largest US city definitely holds them back a bit. Nevertheless, the team is so strong in all other metrics that it cancels out.
Total Followers (in millions): 18.79 (5th)
Wow has it been exciting to watch the Cavaliers play these past few years. In the last 4 season, there has never been a doubt in anyone’s mind that the Cavs would not be able to make the finals. Many younger fans have been attracted to the Cavaliers due to their success on the court. This is reflected through the Cavaliers social media statistics with 7 million followers on their Instagram, 3.22 million followers on their Twitter, and 8.6 million followers on their Facebook.
By drafting LeBron James, the Cavs quickly put their name into the NBA’s record books. They made history and have had some absurdly successful and eventful seasons. Additionally, they never fail to strike gold in the draft. Let’s just sit back and watch their Cavs become legendary once again. Maybe one day they’ll move up higher than 5th in FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Teams ranking.
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