Heat overtake Lakers in ESPN poll
The poll was administered over a 12-month period that ended in March. It tracks fan base sizes and fan base demographics for all major sports through a monthly telephone survey of 1,500 Americans ages 12 and older.
Overall, the poll shows that the Heat rank sixth overall among America's favorite teams -- three spots ahead of the Lakers. While Miami is pursuing a three-peat as NBA champion this month in the NBA Finals, the Lakers were 27-55 this season, the worst 82-game record in the history of the franchise.
The Dallas Cowboys are the polled fans' favorite sports team, and three other NFL teams are in the top five -- the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 2, the Green Bay Packers at No. 3 and the Denver Broncos at No. 5. The New York Yankees are fourth in the poll.
The ESPN Sports Poll's 12-month findings also showed that the NFL is America's favorite sports league and accounted for 40 percent of the top 10 favorite athletes of fans polled. Overall, seven of America's 10 favorite sports teams are NFL teams.