Kevin Durant continues to lead more teams to most-hated status. The Brooklyn Nets have overtaken the LA Lakers as USA’s most hated NBA team.
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving signed with the Brooklyn Nets as twin free agents in the summer of 2019. This promptly changed the narrative of the Nets both on and off the court.
While on the court they indisputably improved their product, their fanbase seems to have become more niche since then. Many NBA fans still don’t view Kevin Durant kindly in the wake of his first move to sign with the Golden State Warriors as a free agent in 2016.
LeBron James remains the country’s most visible team sports athlete and the player with the most haters. But there are other considerations with regards to how NBA teams are viewed across the country.
The defending champion LA Lakers finished as USA’s most-hated NBA team in 2020, way ahead of their competition. But now they’re no longer at the top spot among teams that are viewed with hate by the public.
Brooklyn Nets are USA’s most hated NBA team over LA Lakers
Betonline.ag conducted a sentiment analysis of geotagged tweets collected over the course of the 2020-21 NBA season. They examined over 90,000 tweets over a period of 30 days to determine which team is hated the most across the country.
The data reveals that the Nets are the most hated NBA team in 25 states of the country. The Lakers were a close second, topping hate polls in 21 states. Betonline’s brand manager Dave Mason broke down the results of the poll:
“The combination of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden seems to have been enough to finally flip the country’s hatred of the Los Angeles Lakers [to the Brooklyn Nets].”
“The only difference is the Lakers are also one of the league’s most-loved teams… with most of this sentiment arguably coming just from the love or hate of LeBron James.”
The Nets have passed the Lakers as the most-hated NBA team in 25 states, per @betonline_ag. I love that the 76ers are most hated in NY and CT. And, yeah, we still hate the Celtics the most around here. pic.twitter.com/Ik9rN3Wt33
— Glen Macnow (@RealGlenMacnow) May 21, 2021
“It’s interesting to see the New England area switch from being perennial Lakers haters to Nets haters, and Kyrie Irving probably has a lot to do with that. All in all, it’s safe to say that a lot of people don’t like to see these teams win.”