NBA Teams: Does market size and media attention translate to success?

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 06: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers moves the ball away from Ray Allen #20 of the Boston Celtics in Game Two of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 6, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Of the top of your head, which NBA teams have had the most success since the 2000-2001 season till today? The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics won titles, and so did the San Antonio Spurs. The Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat did as well. The Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic also won a ton of regular season games too. According to the NBA rankings (that I researched at a few places), only three of those seven teams are "Big Market" / Top 10 Markets. Right off the bat then we see that while being in a big market gets you on the map, you still need to put it together in order to win games. As a fan of a small market team this is good news. Of course, the smaller market teams that DO break through seem to either have an undeniable centerpiece, or are really really smart.

I did a whole bunch-o research for this post, but after the jump we look at just the raw numbers or NBA rankings for each team in terms of:

This is not a qualitative breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of being a large or small NBA market team. Just a look at the quantitative numbers. That emotion filled post is better left to being written by a more talented member of the SLC Dunk team.

The info:

Regular Season Wins from 2000-2001 till today: straight forward

NBA Titles: also straight forward

Metro Area Population and Local Sports Team Comp all from here.Teams were paired up with their location and a rank was determined according to the values. E.g. New York and Brooklyn share a lot of area, so their values are very similar, if not identical. Also, local sports team competition was done in a similar fashion. All of the local sports teams (NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, and also CFL, and MLS) were added up, and rankings were made based upon that. So New York has 10 teams, that's the most out of all the markets, so they got a #1 ranking here. Utah has 2, so they were tied for a #20 ranking.

NBA Market size rank from here. This does not include the Canadian team, because they are not in our Market. I think this is something that needs to be found out and I did not do a lot of comparative research in this department. Toronto is one of the Top 10 "best" cities in the world if you like cities like London, or New York, or Chicago. So it is similar in actual size. This NBA Market size =/= attractiveness to US free agents though. Raptors are in a tough spot.

Twitter followers, by rank, came from here. So Assist on this post goes to http://behindthebuckpass.com/ here.

Average media rank is a ranking based upon, duh, averages from the other four categories.

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The Rankings (ordered by Reg Season Wins)

NBA Rankings
Reg. Season Wins Metro Area Market Size Local Sports Twitter Avg. Media NBA
2000-01 till today Population Team Comp. Followers Rank Titles
San Antonio Spurs 684 . 24 26 26 9 22 . 4
Dallas Mavericks 656 . 9 7 8 7 7 . 1
Los Angeles Lakers 618 . 3 3 3 1 2 . 16
Phoenix Suns 565 . 16 14 13 11 13
Utah Jazz 544 . 27 24 20 17 23
Detroit Pistons 537 . 15 13 13 24 17 . 3
Houston Rockets 525 . 11 12 13 16 12 . 2
Orlando Magic 521 . 20 19 26 2 20
Miami Heat 516 . 14 16 13 3 10 . 1
Denver Nuggets 510 . 18 17 8 15 15
Boston Celtics 507 . 7 9 8 4 6 . 17
Indiana Pacers 495 . 25 23 20 23 25
Portland Trail Blazers 491 . 23 21 20 19 21 . 1
Sacramento Kings 483 . 21 20 26 27 27 . 1
New Orleans Hornets 482 . 30 29 20 28 30
Oklahoma City Thunder 481 . 28 27 26 8 24 . 1
Philadelphia 76ers 480 . 10 6 8 14 8 . 3
Cleveland Cavaliers 465 . 19 18 18 12 18
Chicago Bulls 453 . 5 5 7 5 5 . 6
Milwaukee Bucks 446 . 26 25 20 29 28 . 1
Brooklyn Nets 432 . 2 2 1 13 3
Minnesota Timberwolves 419 . 17 15 13 22 19
Memphis Grizzlies 413 . 29 28 26 20 29
Toronto Raptors 412 . 13 N/A 8 21 14
Atlanta Hawks 411 . 12 10 18 25 16 . 1
New York Knicks 405 . 1 1 1 6 1 . 2
Los Angeles Clippers 392 . 4 4 3 10 4
Golden State Warriors 385 . 8 8 5 18 9
Washington Wizards 377 . 6 11 5 26 11 . 2
Charlotte Bobcats 229 . 22 22 20 30 26

Oh, look, the Jazz aren't so bad despite being in a small market after all!

I thought this would be a fun little post. Clearly being in a big market makes life both easier and harder. But I'm not going into that here. This is just the numbers. And by the numbers, the Spurs are kicking everyone's butt. Three of the "Top 10" media market teams, and four of the top 11 are in the Bottom 5 in regular season wins. (NYK, LAC, GSW, WAS) Yikes. Of course, it should be noted that the Bobcats did not exist back in 2000-2001, so their values are even lower than they should have been.

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Questions / Comments / Requests available ... hit the comments below.

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