Sport The NBA Has No Room For Loyalty

20:30  17 july  2017
20:30  17 july  2017 Source:   HERO Sports

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The NBA has grown into one of the biggest operations in the entire world, drawing in millions of fans from around the globe. Here is the power ranking of every NBA franchise based on loyalty .

When judging the loyalty of NBA fan bases, Fromal managed to remain objective by following a specific formula. On top of that, San Antonio has the highest expected attendance of any team in the National Basketball Association .

  The NBA Has No Room For Loyalty © Provided by HERO Sports

The month of July has become synonymous with cookouts, grilling, barbecues and bonfires across the United States of America.

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And I'm not talking about Independence Day family get-togethers or summer nights on the beach. I'm talking about the annual tradition of bitter NBA fans burning the jerseys of players who leave their teams via free agency.

Perhaps the most famous examples of this emotional destruction of apparel happened in 2010, when Cleveland Cavaliers fans torched LeBron James jerseys after the future Hall of Famer announced on national TV that he would leave his home state of Ohio to join the Miami Heat. The most recent examples took place earlier this month, when some Utah Jazz fans lit fire to Gordon Hayward jerseys after the All-Star forward decided to leave Utah for the Boston Celtics.

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NBA Basketball . While we cannot extrapolate perfectly from this loyalty index, hopefully it will feed fuel to the fire of the everlasting debate of who has the best fans.

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Other players who have received such treatment from their former fans include Kevin Durant (when he left Oklahoma City for Golden State), Dwight Howard (Orlando to L.A., then L.A. to Houston) and LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland to San Antonio). Even some of the NBA's most popular fan favorites have had their jerseys burned, including Steve Nash (Phoenix to L.A.) and Dwyane Wade (Miami to Chicago).

In one video of a Hayward jersey-burning that made its way around social media, a man who doesn't appear on camera says to an (obviously) absent Hayward, "Thanks for betraying us."

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Seems like most coaches prefer the NBA season.

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A lot of fans who devote their money and/or time to supporting their favorite teams feel entitled, not only to an athlete's best effort, but to their everlasting loyalty as well. Forget that the athlete often landed on the team through no choice of their own, via the draft or a trade. Once the team decides they want the athlete, a lot of fans seem to believe the athlete should want to stay with that team for the rest of their career. If that feeling isn't mutual, even when the athlete has honored their contract and is free to go anywhere, some fans feel betrayed.

Of course, that loyalty is often circumstantial. Fans obviously want great players, All-Stars and positive contributors to stay with the team and expect them to be as loyal to the franchise as the fans are loyal to the athlete. But when the athlete isn't performing up to expectations, or they've become a liability due to injuries or unjustifiably eating up a lot of salary-cap space, that loyalty from the fans vanishes.

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And if an athlete actually leaves their team, fans sometimes react so harshly that the athlete can't be blamed for wondering if they ever really cared about them as people, or just bodies who could help the team. As vigorously as fans will boo the bad guys, there is usually a stronger, special form of disdain for the bad guy who used to be one of their good guys.

Meanwhile, sports franchises seemingly operate with zero expectation of loyalty. When a team trades or cuts a player before his contract is up, you rarely if ever hear fans or media bash the team for being disloyal.

This is why NBA players should feel no obligation to be loyal to a team, to a city, or to a fan base. Because the loyalty shown to them by fans and franchise isn't real.

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Look at how Oklahoma City fans treated Durant last season, with childish "cupcake" taunts, among other insults. This was the same player who was the primary reason the Thunder franchise is even relevant; Durant led OKC to their only NBA Finals appearance, and he helped current superstar and MVP Russell Westbrook become the player he is today.

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In this week’s Head to Head, Basketball Insiders’ Jessica Camerato and Jabari Davis discuss the topic of loyalty in the NBA . There is a reason why so few players around the NBA have played for just one team their entire careers.

But darn if loyalty isn't a touchy subject that riles everyone up. For Durant is sure under fire. He's one of the more graceful, enticing players the NBA has ever seen, and an overall good guy — remember his touching 2014 MVP news conference

When Hayward returns to Utah next season (and probably for the rest of his career) as a member of the Celtics, he'll definitely get booed and taunted during player introductions and possibly every time he touches the ball. Keep in mind that Hayward came to Utah as a rookie in 2010 he was considered a key part of a team with championship aspirations, but that group soon imploded -- Deron Williams was traded and Jerry Sloan abruptly retired during Hayward's rookie season -- and Hayward stuck around to pick up the pieces.

The only members of that 2010-11 team who were still on the Jazz this past season were Hayward and power forward Derrick Favors. Hayward stuck with the Jazz through four straight Lottery seasons and blossomed into an All-Star performer this past season who led the Jazz back to the playoffs. The franchise he is leaving is still in good shape without him, coming off an appearance in the Western Conference semifinals and featuring rising star center Rudy Gobert, Rodney Hood, Ricky Rubio, Dante Exum and rookie Donovan Mitchell.

The Jazz are a good team, and Hayward helped then become that. But pay attention to how much Utah fans appreciate him for that the next time they see him in their gym.

This isn't to say NBA fans should never boo opponents. While I don't co-sign the idea that purchasing a ticket gives a fan license to act like a troll, I do get that professional athletes are tough enough to handle some boos and heckling. Rooting for your team to win obviously means you're rooting for the other team to lose, and that dynamic between fans and players is rooted at basketball's most fundamental levels, including on the playground. But even on the playground, there usually remains an undercurrent of respect.

The NBA is supposed to be bigger, better and more sophisticated. But its fans often act more immature, particularly when they've been wounded by an athlete they've decided is disloyal. Even when that athlete gave them their best for many years.

Why should an NBA player -- from Gordon Hayward to Kevin Durant to any other -- consider the feelings of such fickle fans when making decisions that will affect the rest of their lives and careers?

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