When it was announced that LeBron James would exercise the early termination of his contract and become a free agent, The Decision reared it’s ugly head, not just for LeBron, but for Miami Heat fans. All of a sudden Miami Heat fans were considered “bandwagon”, being questioned about whether they would remain loyal to the Miami Heat if LeBron James wasn’t on the team. The truth is that some will and some won’t because many fans love their players more than the team.
NBA players have become celebrities in their own right. Some, like LeBron James have become their own brand leveraging their marketability into other areas like business, entertainment and apparel. Some make more money off the court than they do actually playing the game. In that respect they build a strong following, and it is just that — a following. These fans will follow their favorite player to any team he goes. These types of fans like basketball, but they love their favorite player.
So, no they are not bandwagon fans. They are being loyal, to their player. Where he goes, they go. Basketball is a team sport, but the focus in basketball has slowly moved away from the cohesion of the team to the ability and performance of the individual player. Aside from long-standing basketball dynasties with dynamic histories like the Los Angeles Lakers, the Chicago Bulls or Boston Celtics, many fans get connected to a player. Social media only adds to this phenomena.
So if you’re talking about the team, then no, “these fans ain’t loyal” –but to their favorite player, they are committed.
When he changes teams, they change their jersey.
What do you think ?
Your Jersey Girlfriend,