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Clippings: How hated are the Clippers?

The team is no stranger to hate, but recent events may change that.

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Dallas Mavericks defeat the LA Clippers 105-100 during game five of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoff basketball game. Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

The Clippers have long had the reputation of disappointment and falling short of expectations, particularly after discouraging performances on draft day and in the playoffs. Recognizing this, it’s no surprise that the Clippers rank among the most hated NBA teams and sports teams in general.

Action Network analyzed social media discourse to create a negativity index, measuring the percentage of negative sentiment directed at that team on various social media platforms. What may surprise some folks, however, is that there are seven teams ranked ahead of the Clippers in terms of negativity sentiment. At the number one spot is the Philadelphia 76ers, and with the social media discourse related to the Ben Simmons situation (which the Clippers may have a stake in), it’s not a shock that this team ranks this high. Though the Clippers aren’t the most hated team in the league, they still rank as the 25th most hated team in among the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, and MLS, having more than 150 teams altogether.

As stated before, this isn’t a new feeling for Clipper fans. If you open Twitter, it’s likely you’ll be met with anti-Clippers memes criticizing the organization’s decisions and performances from years (or even decades) before. At the same time, you’ll also see memes poking innocent fun at Kawhi Leonard’s appearance in a Drake music video, or video clips hinting at Serge Ibaka’s upcoming cooking show episode with his teammates. It’s odd to see the differences in sentiment that has become regularly directed towards the Clippers team and its players, possibly foreshadowing a shift in the social media opinions of our LA team.

Since 2010, the Clippers have had a relatively steady trajectory towards their status as title contenders, and they did not achieve that by playing nice. While their style of play was not loved by all, it did earn them the respect of both the league and of true basketball fans. And, if the Clippers continue working hard to compete at the highest level, the newfound respect on social media may end up becoming the norm.

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