A 2015 survey regarding the outcome of the pro basketball finals, conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Goalrilla, America’s leading brand of residential in-ground basketball hoops, predicted the outcome of the 2016 season. Last year this time, with the same two teams left standing in the pro basketball season, Goalrilla had already looked ahead to the excitement of the 2016 season. On June 2, 2015, the company announced the results of a new nationwide survey which predicted which team would win it all in 2016 as well as which player is perceived to have the most intense training regimen.
According to the 2015 online survey of 2,090 United States adults aged 18 and older, one-third, or 33 percent, predicted that Cleveland – who at the time was in the 2015 finals – would win the championship in 2016. Roughly one-quarter, or 26 percent, selected Chicago, followed by Houston with 15 percent and Atlanta with 13 percent, while less than 10 percent of those polled predicted Washington, eight percent, or Memphis, six percent. Geographically, 38 percent of U.S. adults from the Northeast selected Cleveland, followed by 37 percent from the Midwest, 30 percent from the West and the lowest percent, 29, from the South.
Harris Polls have become media staples over the last five decades. The Harris Poll has gained strong brand recognition around the world with comprehensive experience and precise technique in public opinion polling, along with a proven track record of uncovering consumers’ motivations and behaviors. After the results of the Harris Poll survey were released for the 2016 NBA Championship, Goalrilla’s director of marketing, David Vogrin, said:
“When it comes to the success of their favorite teams, sports fans are aspirational. Now that only two teams remain, we wanted to look ahead to find out which squad fans predict will win the championship next season. Additionally, while talent is certainly necessary to win, the skill that players develop through training is a key aspect of delivering when the game is on the line. Understanding the aspirations of athletes, with the goal to help them take their game to the next level, we also thought it was appropriate to find out which player fans believe has the most intense training routine.”
In a landslide victory, Americans believe the most intense training regimen belonged to LeBron James, with 61 percent of the vote, followed by – in a distant second – current league MVP Stephen Curry with 13 percent. Less than 10 percent each said the following: James Harden, 9 percent, Kyrie Irving, 7 percent, Kawhi Leonard, 6 percent and Mike Conley, 4 percent. Of those who selected LeBron James, 68 percent were from the Northeast, followed by 61 percent from the South, 59 percent from the West and 57 percent from the Midwest. Since LeBron James was “awarded” the distinction of being the player with the training honor, it is a natural conclusion that Cleveland was selected as the team fans predicted to win the 2016 championship.
The results of the 2015 survey, by a landslide, pointed to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers as the 2016 NBA champions, however, at that time, ESPN forecasted a different winner for 2015. For the 2015 NBA playoffs, which put the NBA’s best player against the best team, the ESPN panel correctly predicted the Warriors as the winners in a six-game series.
The 2016 Playoffs begins tonight, June 2, at 9 p.m. ET on ABC with the Cavaliers at the Warriors. James produced one of the best individual performances in finals history last season, despite losing. This year, he has a great supporting cast playing alongside him with a winning expectation. The Cleveland Cavaliers did not snag the championship in 2015, however, predictions have already secured a win for 2016.
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
ESPN: ESPN Forecast: Finals predictions
Harris Poll Online: How It Works
NBA: 2016 NBA Finals schedule
FiveThirtyEight: LeBron and the Rest of the Cavs Are Better This Year
Top Image Courtesy of WBUR Boston’s NPR News Station – Flickr License
Inside Images Courtesy of Keith Allison – Flickr License
Featured Image Courtesy of Michael – Flickr License