FanSided 250: San Antonio Spurs fans are extremely underrated

San Antonio Spurs fans seen prior to the game against the Houston Rockets. (Photos by Logan Riely/NBAE via Getty Images)
San Antonio Spurs fans seen prior to the game against the Houston Rockets. (Photos by Logan Riely/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The FanSided 250 just came out and San Antonio Spurs fans were massively underrated in the rankings.

In a state crazed about football, San Antonio is a basketball town. Without an NFL team like Houston or Dallas, the people of San Antonio funnel the majority of their fan energy to the San Antonio Spurs.

In the recently released FanSided 250, the San Antonio Spurs were revealed as the 22nd ranked fandom in professional basketball. With respect to all the fanbases ranked higher, that’s a slight to Spurs fans. The Spurs might not have the largest social media following or be the most popular nationwide, but the passion of their fans should not be so underrated.

There are a few key factors that have helped the San Antonio Spurs cultivate one of the most passionate fanbases in the NBA. The number one reason that San Antonio has been able to sustain such a strong fanbase despite being in one of the smaller markets in the NBA is actually very simple. The Spurs win.

A lot of building a strong fan base comes down to one thing: Are you winning games or not? While large market teams like the New York Knicks can maintain stable fanbases despite their poor on-court performance, there’s a reason the passion of small market fan bases tends to fluctuate a bit more.

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To put it plainly, no one wants to pay for a ticket to see their hometown team get blown out. The Spurs winning ways have been filling the seats for going on two decades now. Over the past decade, fans have kept the Spurs in the top half of NBA teams in terms of attendance All those regular-season wins and NBA Championships help create the special memories that can turn a casual fan into a life long one.

As important as the winning on-court product has been in putting fans in the seats of the AT&T Center, the fans themselves have also played a role in the success of the Silver and Black. Fandoms of teams such as the New Orleans Pelicans and Orlando were ranked higher than the Spurs but neither of those fandoms has helped build the dominant home-court advantage like the fans in San Antonio have.

From the start of the 2014-15 season to now, the San Antonio Spurs have enjoyed a 176-42 record at home during the regular season. That kind of home-court advantage has helped them fight through the brutal Western Conference for years.

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That dominance at home wouldn’t be possible without the wild energy put out by the Spurs faithful. Whether it’s a Wednesday night game against the Kings or a Sunday showcase against the Lakers, fans of the Silver and Black will always make the AT&T Center a tough place to play.

Another key element in building a consistent and passionate fanbase has been the stability within the Spurs organization. Fans can turn on owners and front offices at a moment’s notice. But over the past two-plus decades, Spurs fans have enjoyed one of the most low key, drama free organizations in modern sports.

Peter Holt has been as good of an owner as you can ask for. He’s built a winning organization, reinvested into the community in both additional sports teams and community service, and hasn’t done anything to draw the anger of fans. He’s certainly no James Dolan.

Led by R.C. Buford and Gregg Popovich, Spurs fans have always had leaders in the front office to rally behind. As the longest-tenured coach in the NBA, Gregg Popovich has built a special connection to San Antonio Spurs fans. He’s delivered results and has become as beloved as any of the Hall of Fame-caliber players he has coached.

A winning culture, stable leadership, and excellent on-court production have helped the San Antonio Spurs build one of the best fanbases in the NBA. Even as the Spurs struggle through one of the toughest seasons in recent memory the fans have been there every step of the way.

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They might not have the largest presence online or be the largest in numbers but make no mistake, San Antonio Spurs fans are some of the most loyal and passionate in the NBA.