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A Complete Guide To The NBA’s Worst Types Of Fans

Basketball fans are a large and proud nation. If you’re reading this article it’s because you’d rather be dabbling in some basketball related topic on Dimemag then toiling through your work day. I’m all too familiar with this type of procrastination; I’d rather chase down a current rumor, fire out another tweet, or read a column then come back to a reality where my mind isn’t focused on sports.

To the fans who feel the same, I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to the masses of ignorant fans who, through one fault or another, insult the game we love. I’m talking about the homers, bandwagon jumpers, eye testers, key board warriors, 2K traders, and uneducated loudmouths. I’ll run through them in a bit but if you know basketball it’s fairly obvious when one of these fools derails a good basketball conversation.

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The Uneducated Loudmouth:
Imagine, you’re at the local bar with your regular basketball watching crew. The Bulls are playing the Heat and your one buddy brings a plus one who hasn’t come out before. The Heat are up 20 points but for some reason when LeBron misses his second free throw late in the fourth quarter this plus one gets up and yells, “LeBron sucks, what a choke artist.” Now it becomes apparent this guy either knows nothing about basketball or is a LeBron hater. Either way you care about his guys “well” thought out opinion like you care about the list of chores your wife left you to do over the weekend.

The next game comes on and it’s the Lakers vs. the Clippers. Now this loudmouthed loony hasn’t watched basketball in years. He has no idea the Lakers are awful, that Kobe‘s hurt, that the Clippers have had a resurgence and actually matter. And yet as your friends shoot around some pregame predictions, this guy has the audacity to say, “Hell, the Clippers suck. Lakers win big, Kobe drops at least 40!” At this point you drown the rest of your beer and you look over at the weak link in your crew who brought this numb skull. In fairness Mr. Loudmouth is probably a really nice guy, I’m sure he and your buddy get along really well at the office–but the guys not a sports fan; he has no place amongst the hoop scholars.

The Exception:
This guy is a family member, dad, younger brother, cousin, or something of the like. He just wants to bond with you and so you tolerate the outbursts knowing they don’t care about the game but are only commenting in the hopes of bonding with you. In this case fill the rest of the guys in and if they’re true buddies, they’ll attempt to make this poor non-sports loving soul feel at home.

The 2K Traders:
Did the NBA 2K franchise bring hours of fun to the populace? Yes. Does the game provide a unique opportunity for fans to make the trades and signings they wish their favorite franchises would make in real life? Yes. Is the game realistic? No! It is not realistic. You can’t just trade players wherever you feel like it. Yes, if you’re a Knicks fan you might be able to trade Carmelo Anthony for LeBron James straight across in a video game but it will never happen in real life. You might be able to trade five no-name players for Anthony Davis in the game but again it’s not happening in reality.

Please, please, please, keep in mind three things when presenting a trade idea if you want to be taken seriously. Firstly, salary information. If player A makes $2 million, and player B makes $10 million they normally cannot be dealt in a one-for-one scenario. Secondly, consider age and potential. A young, up-and-coming superstar doesn’t get dealt for a veteran on his last legs. So, for instance, Paul George is never going to Brooklyn in exchange for Paul Pierce.

Finally, years of a contract matters. Carmelo Anthony, superstar or not–which is an entirely separate debate–won’t be dealt for a King’s ransom unless he agrees to re-sign. It’s impossible to fathom how people justify things to themselves, but for, real the NBA is not a video game, people.

Homers:
Look for these guys amongst the league’s most successful franchises; Bulls, Lakers, Celtics, more recently the Heat. These guys will never allow any player on their team to be slighted. In their personal rankings the best player on their team is always the best in the league. The best players in team history are almost always the “GOAT” (Greatest of All Time). There are only two things to do when confronted with a blatant homer.

1) Run, run as fast as you can in the opposite direction before you are charged with an assault felony.

2) Troll the hell out of him and try to find enjoyment through his irrational and illogical mutterings.

Notice I didn’t say, “Debate with him, attempt to change his mind, show him the errors of his ways.”

No, unfortunately none of these are possible. Extreme homers are beyond saving, they have an incurable disease and you don’t have the funding to properly attempt a vaccine.

Now there is also reverse homerism. These individuals are often called “haters” in the sports world. Instead of believing a player they are fond of is the best, they illogically believe a player they dislike is the worst. Every star player will have a few of these. Just as star players will have diehard supporters, they will have diehard critics.

More often than you think, you can find a certain individual showing both traits. Here is a guy who brings out the best in homerism as Lakers fan and the worst as a hater towards Carmelo Anthony. . . Hopefully Anthony goes to the Lakers this offseason.

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Hit page 2 to hear the breakdown on “keyboard warriors”…

Bandwagon Jumpers:
These guys aren’t as bad as you may think. Most of the bandwagon jumpers aren’t fans long enough of anyone team to irritate the diehards. They were in Boston when Garnett, Pierce and Allen teamed up; the next year they buried the Celtics snap backs and pulled out the Kobe jersey that had been buried in the closet since 2004. There is a very big difference however between an NBA fan and a bandwagon jumper. NBA fans don’t pull for any specific team–they pull for players, and good basketball.

A clear way to spot a bandwagon jumper: does he associate himself as part of the team with multiple organizations?

“Let’s go Heat we got this!”

“Come on Pacers, my team since September 2013!”

“LeBron is my idol!” – September… “Durant is my personal inspiration” – February.

Keyboard Warriors:
You don’t have to be a fan of sports to find these guys. They turn civil debates into cyber yelling matches. They make pointed questions, and use profanity and egregious language to stir the pot. They do all this in the safety of their own home far, far away from whoever they’re attempting to abuse.

The Internet provides a big strong wall for the insecure members of our society to sit upon and throw stones. A few years back, I was talking about the travesty of an MVP award handed to Derrick Rose. I was tweeting back and forth with a few people when a Chicago individual told me to shut my yap, or he’d shut it for me. Naturally I continued to go about my business. This same individual sent me another tweet saying I needed to, “Shut the **** up, or God forbid he’d come to my home city and kick the **** out of me.” At this point I was laughing. I mean, I’m from Calgary, Alberta. He’s from Chicago. But he was willing to fly up here and attempt to assault me over a difference in basketball opinion?

There was only one thing to do. I invited him up, told him he could tweet me when he got on the ground and we could meet up and try to solve our differences in an adult way if necessary. He didn’t appreciate this one bit and sent several more insulting tweets my way before blocking me on Twitter. There is something about not seeing someone face-to-face that really gives people a false bravado. If you can take a large amount of criticism and won’t take any of the online abuse to heart, I advise you all to find a keyboard warrior of your own to antagonize.

Eye-testers:
These guys might be my least favorite of the lot. The seeing eye test is dead–no one, not a single person on this planet can pick up everything that is happening in every basketball game. Yet fans who watch 20 games a year seem to think they know everything.

“So and so is clutch because they saw a game this year where he hit a last-minute buzzer-beater. Kobe is still better than LeBron because he scored more points last time they watched a game they both played in…etc…”

That’s just not how it works anymore. Even if you are paying 100 percent attention to a single game, you can’t possibly keep track of every player and what they did on each and every possession. For better or worse, whether you like it or not, analytics and statistics are a part of this game. If you aren’t looking at box scores, exploring the mass amounts of information NBA.com, Basketball-reference, 82games, Synergy and others have to offer, than chances are you’re on the outside.

What’s the first thing you were taught about writing an essay? Usually to provide a thesis statement. However, making a point isn’t enough. In any context, you need more, you need evidence. If you were writing an essay stating LeBron is greater than Larry Bird, you need more proof than, “Have you seen LeBron James? No one is that dominant.” Essentially, your limited understanding, mixed in with a biased opinion, won’t convince anyone.

It’s also super tough to move people who believe they’ve seen something. They saw Allen Iverson highlights for years, so they have a tough time accepting that, as a scorer, his inefficiency often hurt his team. No matter how hard you fight to help these individuals see the light, you fall short because they remember the crossover, the up-and-under, and more. Those memories stand as evidence enough in their minds to validate what the more educated basketball community would consider ludicrous.

What are the worst types of basketball fans?

Follow Josh on Twitter at @JoshEberley.

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