Hard feelings soften over time. It's why you wonder why you ever broke up with that girl five years ago. And the most loyal of NBA fans will, no matter how long the lockout goes, ultimately come back to basketball. And of all the loyal fan-bases, the Celtics trail only San Antonio and Cleveland as the most loyal of them all.
“It bodes well for them,” Nielsen said. “I wouldn’t expect there to be a hangover (after the lockout) because of that traditional support they have.”
The Spurs ranked at the top of Scarborough’s most recent list of NBA franchises, which was generated for the first half of 2011.
Cleveland is second at 58 percent, followed by Boston (50 percent), Utah (47 percent) and Phoenix (45 percent) among the top five franchises. New Jersey (11 percent) is the lowest.
This is based on the percentage of adults in the home market who either watched a game live or on TV, or listened on the radio last season.
Think about those other markets. San Antonio has NO other options during the season. Neither does Cleveland or Utah. Phoenix has the Coyotes… but, really, who's watching the Coyotes?
My point is, these cities have very loyal fan bases, in part, because they're really the only game in town. The Celtics, meanwhile, are competing with the Bruins and Patriots, plus a ton of college sports and minor leagues. If someone wants to take in another game of some kind, there are certainly distractions.
And with the most loyal fan-bases comes the better chance to have those fans come back. Except, possibly, in Boston where all those other distractions exist. Who's to say that some fans don't just say "screw it" for whatever remains of the season and turns their attention to the Stanley Cup champs or a Super Bowl contender?
In the end, though, I doubt the Celtics will suffer much. Their appeal is so broad, that they'll weather the storm just fine. Even if the season is blown out. I'm sure Wyc will take some serious heat, but the team will still have its fans.