This organization has been flat out killing it recently. With record of 65-17 last year, and finishing first in the Western Conference in the regular season, their hot streak seemed to carry over into this year. Still need a hint to who it is? Fear the Beard. The Houston Rockets are #3 on FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Teams ranking. Coming off his MVP season, James Harden has been leading the charge for the Rockets. They currently pose one of the biggest threats to making a strong push in the playoffs and possibly winning the Finals. Nevertheless, the success of the Houston Rockets franchise does not start with James Harden. Many big names have put on a Rockets jersey such as Dikembe Mutombo, Robert Horry, Kenny “the Jet” Smith, Charles Barkley, Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming, Clyde Drexler, Moses Malone, and of course Hakeem “the Dream” Olajuwon. The list goes on and on with legendary Rockets players. They all contributed greatness to the organization, hence placing the Rockets 3rd in FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Teams ranking.
Where do I even start with this franchise? Do I cover the Michael Jordan era? Do I talk about Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler? Do I talk about the untapped potential they have on their team? The Chicago Bulls have been one of the most historically powerful franchises in the NBA. Let’s start at the beginning of the major success. In 1984, the Chicago Bulls decided to use their number 3 pick on a kid from UNC. This kid was Michael Jordan. The greatest basketball player of all time. Jordan went on to lead the Bulls to his historic 6 rings. With other strong teammates such as Ron Harper, Steve Kerr, Horace Grant, Dennis Rodman, and of course Scottie Pippen, the Bulls seemed unstoppable with Michael Jordan. After this streak of success faded, Derrick Rose was drafted in 2008 with the first overall pick. He carried the Bulls to a lot of success and even managed to win MVP in the 2011 season, making him the youngest player to win the MVP award. Currently, the Chicago Bulls are rebuilding and waiting for their next spark, yet their historical dominance allows them to place 4th in FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Teams ranking.
“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.
From the perspective of fans across all sports leagues, Boston is the common enemy. Not only does this opinion exist because of the constant success most of all the Boston teams have, but also because their fans are some of the most supportive and rowdy fans. In the NBA, the Boston Celtics have had extreme levels of success recently and historically. Legends such as Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and many more have steeped the Celtics with historical moments. Additionally, Boston has not only the oldest active NBA team, but also the oldest overall NBA franchise, along with the New York Knicks, founded in 1946. Currently, under the guidance of head coach Brad Stevens, stars such as Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Al Horford, and Jayson Tatum lead the team to success. Let’s look at how the Celtics placed 6th in FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Team Rankings.
Miami is by far one of the most active and passionate cities across the United States. On top of that, every season their home team, the Miami Heat, never fail to excite the fans and make strong pushes in the regular season. They struck gold in 2003 by drafting Dwyane Wade from Marquette with the 5th pick in the draft. Wade led the Heat, along with Shaquille O’Neal and others, to a title in the 2006 season. A few years later, LeBron James and Chris Bosh decided to join the Heat and led the team to four straight finals appearances, winning it in 2012 and 2013.
In more recent years, the Miami Heat have had a strong roster with Justise Winslow and Goran Dragic. Lastly, Dwyane Wade’s farewell season is this year this has for sure brought a lot of attention to Miami as a legend is retiring soon. He even got invited to play in this year’s All-Star game. Without further or due, let’s look into how the Heat placed 7th in FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Team rankings.
Popular. Scary. Legendary. Historic. These are only some of the many words that can be used to describe the Los Angeles Lakers. This past offseason changed a lot for the Lakers. LeBron James chose to sign with them and that reignited the fire within the fans. Along with many young stars such as Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and of course Kyle Kuzma, this team has an absurd amount of potential carried by one of the best leaders to ever play the game. Nevertheless, one season good season is not the only reason they place in FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Teams ranking.
The Lakers have always been one of the most exciting teams to watch. The organization was founded in 1947, the second year of the NBA, which ultimately gives them an advantage over almost all teams as their franchise timeline goes back further. Kobe Bryant, easily one of the best and by far the most competitive player to set foot on an NBA court, spent his whole career with LA and recently retired in 2016. Other legends such as Shaquille O’Neal, the whole Showtime Lakers (Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), Wilt Chamberlain, and many more have all put on a Lakers jersey. You will never be disappointed watching a Lakeshow…trust me. No wonder why the Lakers were able to place 8th in FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Teams ranking.
The 6. Home of the Toronto Raptors. Canada’s Team. The Raptors have always had a strong presence across the league with previous stars such as Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani, and DeMar DeRozan. It is to no one’s surprise that they are able to break into FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Teams ranking at the #9 spot.
Despite always having Kyle Lowry to help lead their team, the Raptors acquired all-star forward Kawhi Leonard and shooting guard Danny Green in a recent exchange for DeMar DeRozan. Although this trade stunned the league as the Raptors did not think twice about trading away their star, it has paid off for them as Kawhi has helped Toronto maintain its position as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference rankings. Additionally, the recent signing of Jeremy Lin will for sure boost fan support from the Asian Canadian and Asian American community as many other previous Chinese players have done for organizations. For sure we cannot forget about the fact that the Raptors are music superstar Drake’s favorite sports team. Enough of the summary, let’s get right into how the Toronto Raptors were able to rank 9th in FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Teams rankings.
Any true-blue sports fan would agree that very few things can match the thrill of watching a game live. This is why stadium owners do everything in their power to enhance the in-arena experience. Doing so ensures that fans enjoy every second. That being said, Business Insider ran a poll last October to find out which arenas in the NBA are the best. Here are the top 10:
10. TD Garden – Boston Celtics
The time has come! The #10 of FanWide’s very own Top Ten NBA Teams has been announced. Since its creation, FanWide has gathered data regarding fan clubs and fan engagement, which is used in ranking the Top Ten NBA Teams is unique to FanWide and has produced a ranking like no other. The metrics used to list the teams from first to last were based on both their on and off court success. This balance ultimately creates a broader and more balanced field to judge teams in the fairest way possible. Without further ado, coming at #10 on FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Teams is the Oklahoma City Thunder.
On an international stage, the United States of America dominates in basketball. With five gold, three silver, and four bronze medals, with a 123-27 overall record, it is without a doubt that the best players across the world rush to play in America. Almost every park, neighborhood, and school has a basketball court. It can be deemed as an essential piece to building a community. With the strong presence of basketball in the USA, it is no surprise that the NBA is one of the most competitive and watched sports leagues in the world. Although the current NBA was formed in 1976, with the merge of the ABA and NBA, fan support for the thirty teams does not lack in power.
FanWide’s rankings are not based solely on success on the court nor success off the court. Rather, the rankings consider both in order to get the most wholesome analysis of each team. This balance in the rankings creates a broader field of data that allows for a ranking that is original and meaningful as it also uses proprietary data from FanWide fan clubs which is not available elsewhere. Read below to see the factors that were used to rank NBA teams based on data that was not limited to on-court success.