Plenty of NBA Fans Consider Lakers Their Chief Rival

Plenty of NBA Fans Consider Lakers Their Chief Rival
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

Few teams in the NBA generate the leaguewide vitriol the Los Angeles Lakers have, dating back to the club’s “Showtime” era that ran from the late 1970s through the early ‘90s.

Between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson of the Pat Riley reign, to the Phil Jackson-Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O’Neal teams of the 1990s and 2000s, the Lakers have electrified the league for much of the team’s West Coast tenure.

As we are in the lull of the NBA offseason and waiting on the preseason to arrive, we were interested in who currently are the most hated NBA teams. Using Reddit data from user RemyPLambert, found the primary and secondary rival of each NBA team with a sample size of 1,000 respondents. If a team was mentioned as a primary rival, that was 10 points. If a team was mentioned as secondary rival, that was five points. We then used the final points to rank the most hated NBA teams.

There is no legal sports betting in California. It will be 2024 before another referendum can make the state ballot.

Most Hated NBA Teams

RankTeamTeams Naming As Primary RivalTeams Naming As Secondary RivalFinal Points
1Boston Celtics6 teams (60 points)3 teams (15 points)75
2Los Angeles Lakers4 teams (40 points)2 teams (10 points)50
T-3Memphis Grizzlies2 teams (20 points)1 team (5 points)25
T-3Miami Heat2 teams (20 points)1 team (5 points)25
T-3New York Knicks2 teams (20 points)1 team (5 points)25
T-6Golden State Warriors2 teams (20 points)0 teams (0 points)20
T-6Denver Nuggets2 teams (20 points)0 teams (0 points)20

Although there are no California betting apps, national operators list Golden State and the Lakers as the state’s best chance at an NBA title at +1400 odds. Boston and Denver are co-favorites at +475.

Lakers Among Most Loathed Teams In NBA

The Lakers finished second overall, behind the Boston Celtics, when it came to “hate” points, with 50 — thanks in large part to L.A. being the primary rival of four different teams. Between the crosstown L.A. Clippers, the Celtics, San Antonio and Sacramento, there’s no shortage of love lost in cities across America when it comes to the Lakers. Throw in a pair of secondary rivals, in Portland and Denver, and you have a recipe for creating some first-class hardwood hatred.

BetMGM Sportsbook — there is no BetMGM California — has the Kings title odds at +5000. Overall on the hate scale, the Lakers finished ahead of Memphis, Miami and the New York Knicks. That trio each had 25 points. It seems like one constant for NBA fans from coast to coast is to boast about their animosity for the Lakers — which will happen when you win 17 titles in the course of 51 years.



Christopher Boan
Christopher Boan
Reporter / Journalist

Christopher Boan is the lead writer at, specializing in sports betting issues in the western United States. He's covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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