Celtics or Warriors? Americans Are Evenly Split on Preferred NBA Finals Winner

About 1 in 3 NBA fans say they’re more interested in this year’s finals than previous years’
June 02, 2022 at 4:41 pm UTC

Which team are Americans rooting for this NBA Finals: The Golden State Warriors, attempting to win their fourth title since 2015, or the Boston Celtics, the storied franchise hoping to claim the Larry O’Brien trophy for the first time in almost 15 years?

It turns out they’re equally divided.  

A new Morning Consult survey shows that the same share of U.S. adults (29%) want the Celtics and Warriors to win the best-of-seven series, which begins tonight on ABC from Golden State’s Chase Center in San Francisco.

Americans Divided on Which Team They Want to Win the 2022 NBA Finals

U.S. adults were asked which team they want to win the Larry O’Brien trophy
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Surveys conducted between May 31-June 1, 2022, among a representative sample of 2,210 U.S. adults, with an unweighted margin of error of +/-2 percentage points.

Golden State Warriors vs. Boston Celtics 

  • Nearly 2 in 5 Gen Zers (37%) and 35% of millennials said they prefer the Warriors to win, while 28% of Gen Xers and 29% of baby boomers said they hope Boston wins.
  • About 3 in 10 U.S. adults (32%) believe the Warriors will win the championship, compared to about 1 in 5 Americans (22%) who think the Celtics will win their 18th title and surpass the Los Angeles Lakers for most in NBA history. The margin is even larger among NBA fans, roughly half of which (51%) think Golden State will continue in its dominance over the league.

1 in 3 NBA Fans Are More Interested in the 2022 Finals Than Previous Finals

Respondents were asked if they are more or less interested in this year’s NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics:
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Survey conducted between May 31-June 1, 2022, among a representative sample of 2,210 U.S. adults, with an unweighted margin of error of +/-2 percentage points.

Interest in the 2022 NBA Finals

  • About 1 in 3 self-identified NBA fans (33%) said they are more interested in watching this year’s edition than prior finals, with about 4 in 5 NBA fans (82%) saying they plan to watch all or some of the games — compared to 46% of U.S. adults.
  • Nearly one-quarter of self-identified NBA fans (23%) plan to stream the finals, the same share as U.S. adults, while almost 3 in 4 NBA fans (74%) plan to watch on traditional TV. Roughly 3 in 10 Gen Zers (31%) said they plan to stream the finals, a higher share than millennials (27%), Gen Xers (21%) and baby boomers (15%).

Disney wins no matter what

TV advertisers are readying for a primetime matchup between two of the NBA’s heavyweights. Of the 30 most-watched NBA games this season, Boston appeared in 14 contests and Golden State appeared in 13. 

The Warriors are still in the midst of their dynasty run, while the Celtics’ young nucleus, led by breakout star Jayson Tatum, will try to knock off the Stephen Curry-led franchise. Regardless of who wins the title, though, media and sales executives at ABC’s parent company, Walt Disney Co., should win off the hardwood. 

The survey was conducted May 31-June 1, 2022, among a representative sample of 2,210 U.S. adults, including 1,131 self-identified NBA fans, with unweighted margins of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points and 3 percentage points, respectively.

A headshot photograph of Mark J. Burns
Mark J. Burns
Sports Analyst

Mark J. Burns is a sports analyst on the Industry Intelligence team, where he conducts research, authors analyst notes and advises leaders in the sports industry on how to apply insights to make better business decisions. Before joining Morning Consult, he served as a beat reporter at Sports Business Journal, covering the business of hockey and soccer. Mark graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in history and holds a Juris Doctor from Belmont University. For speaking opportunities and booking requests, please email [email protected].

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