In a recent study conducted by the online betting community organization Online Betting Guide (OLBG), Chicago Bulls fans somewhat shockingly rated out as the second-happiest fanbase according to OLBG’s 2022 Happy Fan Index.
Not only were Bulls fans rated as the second-happiest fanbase in the NBA, but also came second across all major American sports leagues. Only Memphis Grizzlies fans finished ahead of Chicago according to the index.
Since the NBA generated much more online interaction than the other four major sports leagues, it’s not surprising to see four of the top five teams come from the NBA. It is surprising, however, to see the Bulls ranked this highly.
A study by the online betting community OLBG surprisingly concluded that Chicago Bulls have the second-happiest fanbase in the entire NBA.
This ranking was almost certainly influenced by the Bulls’ decision to revamp the front office and hand over the reigns to a much more forward-thinking front office duo Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley. As a result, the Bulls generated a lot of hype with their offseason acquisitions of DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, and Alex Caruso.
These moves brought their fair share of controversy at first, including with DeRozan being infamously named “the worst move of the offseason” by ESPN. Obviously, knowing what we know, that was a hilarious misstep on their behalf and this trio of players all ended up playing extremely well in their first season in Chicago.
The addition of Ayo Dosunmu was also bound to be a fan favorite, as the homegrown product out of the University of Illinois helped make an immediate difference with the Bulls. It was honestly difficult not to root for the Bulls this year, at least up until injuries and COVID-19 decimated the roster.
Most important of all, I think the fact that the Chicago Bulls were simply winning games was enough to please most fans. The team won the most games they have since 2015, alleviating the pain of several wasted “rebuilding” seasons under GarPax.
For the first time in forever, the Bulls looked to be true contenders as they entered 2022 with the best record in the Eastern Conference. I believe the hype reached a boiling point following DeMar’s back-to-back game-winners on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day; it’s hard remembering a time as exciting to be a Bulls fan since Derrick Rose’s tenure with the team.
As well all know, Chicago faltered at the end of the season and stumbled through a first-round loss in the playoffs at the hands of the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks. For that reason, it may be surprising to see the Bulls ranked second on this list.
It’s important to not let a sour end ruin what was otherwise one of the most exciting seasons in franchise history since the departure of Michael Jordan. That being said, now that a precedent has been set, the team has some work to do if they want to continue improving and pleasing a devoted fanbase that has been long-starved for an NBA Finals appearance.