This story is part of ESPN The Magazine's September 29 Fansourced Issue. Subscribe today!
Last year's ranking: 4
Title track: 47
Fan relations: 14
Stadium experience: 27
Bang for the buck: 9
If you're looking for 50-plus wins, the otherworldly exploits of a reigning MVP and one of the league's best home-court advantages, Oklahoma City is the place for you. Our rankings have long loved the Thunder, who earned our No. 1 spot in 2012 and have finished in the top 10 every year since 2011. On the court, OKC fans have enjoyed five postseasons in the six seasons since the team moved from Seattle, including two conference finals appearances and one NBA Finals setback to LeBron's Heat in 2012.
But even if Kevin Durant has yet to bring OKC a title -- his emotional MVP speech earned him some additional grace -- Chesapeake Energy Arena is a haven for moral support. In fact, the team's fandom has a home, WeAreThunder.com, which catalogs fan photos and team-related stories like the digital version of a proud mother's coffee table. The jovial atmosphere is likely boosted by a ticket price right at the league average, along with $10 parking and $5 beers (cheapest in the league). While the game cost for the season rose more than 7 percent from last year, it still remained well below the NBA average.
A 34-spot drop in coaching is indicative of the pressure on Scott Brooks to push the Thunder over the top. Not trading James Harden for 50 cents on the dollar in 2012 would have been a big help. But with Durant opting out of the late-summer Basketball World Cup, OKC likely will begin next season with a healthy MVP and a good shot to win a loaded Western Conference. And that's a pretty loud bang for the buck.