Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
To say that the Golden State Warriors — once seen as the NBA’s juggernaut after winning five straight Western Conference titles and three championships in a four-year span — have struggled to start the season would be a bit of an understatement. Head coach Steve Kerr lost star Kevin Durant in free agency, while two-time league MVP Steph Curry and five-time NBA All-Star Klay Thompson are both sidelined to recover from serious injuries. Given all of this, the Warriors have started the season at a dismal 2-6.
Without its flashy stars and winning ways, Golden State does not attract the same level of ire from opposing fandoms as it did mere months ago, vacating the much-coveted title of “most hated franchise in the NBA.”
Headlined by superstar LeBron James and offseason acquisition Anthony Davis— who have combined for a whopping 15 All-NBA First Team honors in their careers — the Lakers have more firepower than virtually any other team in the NBA. Add in center Dwight Howard’s stunning and surprising resurgence, Danny Green’s impressive sharpshooting, and Kyle Kuzma’s youthful explosiveness, and you have all the ingredients for the league’s version of the Monstars.
With talent in spades, it’s no surprise that Los Angeles has jumped out to a 6-1 record to start the season and accrued such a negative reputation with fans of other NBA franchises. More than half of the United States — 34 in all — hate the purple and gold above all else.
Plenty of fans still harbor lingering resentment towards the Warriors, as 11 states — the bulk of which are located in the Rust Belt — have publicly expressed their hatred for the fallen empire more than any other franchise. The Houston Rockets round out the list with two states — Utah and Oklahoma — housing haters of the James Harden and Russell Westbrook tandem most of all.