On the whole — and any Ben Simmons drama notwithstanding — one would be hard-pressed to say life isn’t objectively good for fans of the Philadelphia 76ers right now.
After all, the team is fresh off a season in which it had the best record in the Eastern Conference, and all of its key players are returning for another run at an NBA title in 2021-22. Meanwhile, Philly has MVP runner-up Joel Embiid on lockdown after the big man agreed to a long-term contract extension.
Nevertheless, a pair of new data-scrubbing studies from popular sportsbooks are painting a less than rosy picture of the Sixers experience.
According to one study, the Sixers are among the most hated-on teams in all of professional sports. The other, meanwhile, lists the Philly faithful as one of the most “stressed” sporting fan bases.
Action Network: Sixers Are the Most Hated-On Team in the NBA
Using the Linkfluence platform, which combines AI and human market research expertise with data from social media, The Action Network attempted to analyze negative sentiment about pro teams as identified via social listening. The sportsbook’s study covered activity occurring between July 2020 and July 2021 relating to all teams from the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS.
The study’s conclusion: the Sixers are the most hated team in the NBA in terms of negative sentiment. In total, the Sixers were viewed negatively in 9.18% of analyzed posts over the one-year period that was covered.
That number just beat out the No. 2 Toronto Raptors at 8.08% and the third-ranked Orlando Magic at 7.70%. Curiously, the top five was rounded out by the defending-champion Milwaukee Bucks (7.44%) and the Denver Nuggets (7.40%).
The relatively low percentage of negative sentiment would seem to go against the conventional wisdom regarding Twitter, Instagram and the like. However, the Sixers nonetheless hit a mark that wasn’t just the highest in the Association, but one of the highest among all of the teams included in the study.
Here is the top five across all sports:
1. Las Vegas Raiders (NFL): 14.20%
2. Dallas Stars (NHL): 9.86%
3. Arizona Coyotes (NHL): 9.33%
4. Philadelphia 76ers (NBA): 9.18%
5. Chicago Bears (NFL): 8.99%
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BetUS: Sixers Have Most Stressed Fan Base
In another study, BetUS attempted to identify the most stressed-out sporting fan bases. This study employed data scientist Mike Thelwall’s TensiStrength — a peer-reviewed stress and relaxation strength detection tool — to examine forum posts from every team in the U.S. big four.
Again, the Sixers took top honors for the NBA. Per the report, 29% of the words in Sixers posts that were logged by the tool qualified as stressed. Given the manner in which Philly succumbed to the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the NBA Playoffs, it’s a number that may just stand to reason.
The Boston Celtics came in second at 27%, followed by the Cleveland Cavaliers (also 27%). The Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers rounded out the top five, with both checking in at 26%.
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