Twitter creates interactive map of NBA fans; guess which team has the most followers in North America?


Twitter has released an interactive map that charts the amount of followers possessed by each NBA team's official Twitter account in regions across North America.

Much to the dismay of Celtics fans, the US map (depicted above) is dominated by the color purple, representing our arch rival: the Los Angeles Lakers. And of course, the love for the Toronto Raptors abounds throughout our neighbors to the north.

The map has many interesting features and sorting options:

Celtics followers in North America

You can map each team's followers throughout North America. Obviously, the data shows that the Boston Celtics have the largest following in New England, but you might be surprised to find that outside of New England, the C's have the largest concentration of followers in Powder River County, Montana.

Celtics vs Lakers followers

You can compare the locations of followers between any two teams, but you might not like the results.

2nd most popular teams in each area

Aside from showing which teams have the most followers in each area (the map at the top of the page), you can also display the team with the 2nd most number of followers, but you also might not like the results.

So now we ask ourselves: does a team's Twitter following necessarily correlate with their number of fans in each region?  Most likely, it's a pretty accurate representation of fans representing a younger generation (many older fans probably don't even have Twitter or understand how to use it -- my dad loves the Celtics, but hates computers). But also consider the possibility that if you are a polarizing figure, there are also those that like to watch you fail.

As shown in the map of the 2nd most followers in each area, the color black is quite prevalent, which represents the Miami Heat. Most NBA fans can attest to the fact that the Heat and the Lakers have dominated our TV screens in terms of coverage from ESPN and the mainstream media in recent years, driving the public to follow their every move in headlines and on social media. (Why do the Lakers have 28 games on national TV this season -- more than 2014 champs San Antonio -- when they have been horrible since last year?) This type attention can cause teams to become polarizing -- in most cases, you either love them or you hate them. Therefore, many haters could be following said teams' Twitter accounts to keep track of their mishaps, and to troll them when they occur. But then again, if this theory was true, the orange color representing the New York Knicks would probably be showing up all over the place.

It's also worth mentioning that this map doesn't take into account international followers. From contributing to Celtics Life, I have seen the traction that the Celtics have globally, as many commenters, shout box chatters, and Tweeters hail from countries far from North America. I would be interested to see a worldwide version of this map, and would imagine that teams like the Celtics and the Spurs (whose roster is filled with international players) would have an increased presence.  On a side note: it is a bit surprising that the Spurs don't have a bigger following, as they have won as many titles as the Lakers and Heat (2 a piece) since Twitter was launched in July of 2006. The woes of being a small market team...

What are your thoughts on the Twitter map's distribution of NBA followers? Share your comments and theories below.

Follow me on Twitter @dhobeika 

h/t: ESPN