June 22, 2011 7:55 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to choose a new NBA team to follow. Specifically, a really bad team with enough good qualities that it would be fun to support. Any suggestions?

I'm from LA so I've been a Lakers fan since childhood, but I want to start following an additional team that's much more of an underdog. It must be a team that didn't make the playoffs this year (and preferably didn't come close). Anyone from the East or the Timberwolves. I prefer owners/GMs/coaches/players who are smart, interesting in interviews, and not homophobic or otherwise horrible.
posted by acidic to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (22 answers total)
Washington Wizards! I am not sure we are headed in the right direction though, John Wall notwithstanding.

They do have a fantastic and eloquent owner with a pretty great blog.
posted by BobbyDigital at 7:59 AM on June 22, 2011

You're from LA and you want to follow an underdog NBA team? But you want it to be somebody from the East?

Man, the Clippers can't catch a break.
posted by box at 8:00 AM on June 22, 2011 [26 favorites]

Don't follow Cleveland.

Do I really need to explain why?
posted by Mister Fabulous at 8:14 AM on June 22, 2011

+1 for the Clippers.

If you just can't bring yourself to cheer for the Clippers, I recommend Golden State. Talented young squad with Mark Jackson coming in should make for a fun season.
posted by shew at 8:18 AM on June 22, 2011

Maybe the draft tomorrow night will help you make your decision. Which players are you excited about entering the league?

I liked Demar DeRozan when he was at USC so when he went to the Raptors, I started to like the Raptors a bit. Maybe they could be interesting, depending on what happens tomorrow night. They pick fifth.
posted by Jagz-Mario at 8:19 AM on June 22, 2011

If you're a Lakers fan, the Wolves are your logical choice. They're the successor team after the Lakers blew town- Target Center even has a statue of George Mikan outside of it, and I think there's still a Minneapolis Lakers jersey up in the rafters. Ricky Rubio finally joining the team provides at least a spark of hope and interest, and god knows the team otherwise (well, outside of Kevin Love) fits your "really bad" criterium.
posted by COBRA! at 8:27 AM on June 22, 2011

Toronto Raptors - the team where good players develop and then leave as soon as their contracts end.
posted by rocket88 at 9:02 AM on June 22, 2011

I'd be wary of the T-Wolves, there's talk of a Gasol for Love and the 2nd pick, so you'd just be cheering for Gasol again.

Cheer for my hometown team, the Milwaukee Bucks. They have a roster that's heading in the right direction, and Brandon Jennings is pretty much the definition of "cool".
posted by King Bee at 9:16 AM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

talk of a trade, that is
posted by King Bee at 9:18 AM on June 22, 2011

Seconding the Golden State Warriors. Rabidly loyal local fan base, some good players, rookie coach coming in.
posted by expialidocious at 9:19 AM on June 22, 2011

I prefer owners/GMs/coaches/players who are smart, interesting in interviews, and not homophobic or otherwise horrible.

That rules out the Clippers.

My vote would be for the Warriors.
posted by phelixshu at 9:52 AM on June 22, 2011

I'm hoping the Jazz make it back to the playoffs next year, but other than that (and the fact that they're a western conference team), they meet all of your criteria. The team is recovering from losing both its star player (D-Will) and its franchise hall-of-fame coach (Jerry Sloan) last year, so everything is fresh and new and topsy-turvy. It's a really interesting time to be a Jazz fan.
posted by aparrish at 10:08 AM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

I prefer owners/GMs/coaches/players who are smart

That rules out the T-Wolves...

Hard to go wrong with the Raps. They probably won't make the playoffs for a couple years, but they've got some talented young players who are exciting to watch (just not on defense). Dwane Casey, their new coach, is regarded as one of the best in the business -- he was Rick Carlisle's head assistant on the Mavs this year. And Brian Colangelo is a little bit insane, but the dude has a penchant for making a crazy trade or two every year, so at least things stay interesting.
posted by auto-correct at 11:05 AM on June 22, 2011

The Charlotte Bobcats just got a new GM and might be an interesting team to watch rebuild. The Memphis Grizzlies are starting to gel. I'd also second the Bucks and the Warriors.
posted by perhapses at 11:08 AM on June 22, 2011

Seconding the Bucks. They were bad this past season, but really good the season before that. Much of the previous decade was forgettable, but they do have a championship and a once proud history.

They have a decent GM who went crazy last offseason, and young star Brandon Jennings comes from California.

Plus, they have the best mascot in the league.
posted by drezdn at 11:13 AM on June 22, 2011

I did the same thing last year with baseball. I am a lifelong Yankee fan and wanted a National League team. I jumped on the Pirates. I was at least a year or two early, but watch out for the bucko's; we are family. I was looking for a young team that would build through the draft and that had generations of fans waiting for the good ol days to return.

I vote for the Nuggets or Jazz in the NBA.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:18 AM on June 22, 2011

+1 for the wizards, we need all the help we can get
posted by askmehow at 11:30 AM on June 22, 2011

Wolves, wolves, wolves.

This is a "critically acclaimed" team - they're not at all successful at winning basketball games, but they're absolutely tremendous fun to follow. They play at the league's fastest pace. You get to root for Darko Milicic, Michael Beasley, Anthony Randolph and Nikola Pekovic's tattoos - there is literarily not one player on the roster who isn't fun to watch for, and hardly any whose games aren't weird and unique. You do your thing, Sebastian Telfair! It's the island of misfit toys of NBA franchises. They have one of the most literate and articulate fan blogs in basketball. They give media tons of access, which leads to fun things like this.

I prefer owners/GMs/coaches/players who are smart

You'll have to overlook this bit, though.
posted by piato at 12:32 PM on June 22, 2011

The rumor is that the Wolves may trade their first round pick for Steve Nash. And there's the aforementioned Gasol for Love rumor. So while a Nash addition would be awesome for a new Wolves fan, I'd wait till the post-draft dust settles a bit before deciding on which bad team to adopt. Or would that be a weird form of bandwagonning?
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 2:14 PM on June 22, 2011

How about the Nets? They're kinda like the Clippers of the East, always stuck in the shadow of the Knicks. Also: crazy Russian owner, Deron Williams and the pending move to Brooklyn!
posted by mullacc at 6:34 PM on June 22, 2011

The Mavericks, it's been a few years, but I always remembered them as pretty lousy with a cute/goofy cartoon cowboy as the mascot. The Washington Bullets haven't ever had much going for them except for a lanky tall guy. &The Clippers have been loosing since the dawn of time.
posted by mmdei at 10:47 PM on June 22, 2011

Everyone suggesting Western Conference teams has a very poor understanding of what it means to be a Laker fan.

Your options are basically the Bucks (Fear the Dear!) or the Nets.
posted by outlaw of averages at 11:48 PM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

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