An appreciation for Knicks fans always focuses on the bad basketball the Big Apple has seen over the past decade and a half. It's inevitable; after making the playoffs for 14 straight seasons from 1988 to 2001, the Knicks earned just one postseason berth in the next nine seasons. Yet the New York fans still come out in droves, supporting a team that probably should have extinguished any goodwill long ago. And the Mecca of basketball knows its hoops, too.
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Los Angeles Lakers
Sure, they've had a lot to cheer about over the years, which has helped spread appreciation for the purple and gold beyond southern California. But that doesn't make Lakers fans any less passioniate, as anyone who's ever criticized Kobe Bryant knows all too well. Lakers fans won't hesitate to remind you of the franchise's 16 championships or the litany of Hall of Famers who've called Los Angeles home. And can you blame them? When your team is arguably the best in NBA history, you've got every right to flaunt it. And with Julius Randle and D'Angelo Russell on the roster, the Lakers are on the verge of getting back into the playoff hunt -- and drawing in the free agents who will take the team to the next level after Kobe Bryant's retirement.
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Portland Trail Blazers
Tucked all alone in the Pacific Northwest, the Blazers in general probably don't get the attention they deserve. Ditto for Portland's fans, who support the Blazers with the kind of fervor that can only be generated in a city with one professional team in the four major sports leagues. The team will be quite a bit worse this year as the post-LaMarcus Aldridge rebuild commences. But Damian Lillard will still bring Blazers fans to their feet this year, even if few others are watching.
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No team can boast a history comparable to that of the Celtics, for better and for worse. Boston has an NBA-record 17 titles, but has also suffered through awful stretches of basketball. As great as Boston fans are when the team is winning, they might be even better in defeat. When the LeBron James-led Heat blew out the Celtics in the 2012 playoffs, for instance, the home faithful in Boston serenaded its aging Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce with cheers and chants over the final minutes. The Celtics and their fan base are the perfect match of tradition and appreciation for that history. The city is ready for Brad Stevens and Marcus Smart to return the green and white to glory.
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Golden State Warriors
It's not recency bias, although the image of Warriors fans filling the streets of the Bay area for a championship parade are still fresh from this offseason. Oracle Arena is the most intimidating road trip on the NBA calendar, as all it takes is a single Stephen Curry 3-pointer for the Dubs faithful to erupt at ear-shattering volume. The Warriors aren't going anywhere soon, so you better get used to a team that's fine with talking a little trash and the fans who will openly root it on. If the fans get on your nerves, there's an easy solution: Hope that your favorite team can knock off the champs.