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CBS Poll: NBA Fans Back Players

With professional basketball games canceled through November and no end in sight to the NBA lockout, fans are more sympathetic towards the players, according to a recent CBS News-New York Times Poll.

While almost half of the general public say they don't know enough to judge which side is "in the right," fans tend to side with the players.

Who's Right?General PublicFans
The Owners24%29%
The Players2236
Don't Know Enough4525

Majorities in both the general public and basketball fans say the current work stoppage has not changed their opinion of the NBA or the people involved in it. But those who say the lockout has affected their opinion -- mostly fans -- are overwhelmingly negative.

Nearly one out of three fans says the labor dispute has lowered their opinion of professional basketball and of those in the business.

How Did Lockout Affect Opinion Of Basketball?General PublicFans
Improved It1%3%
Lowered It2529
Made No Difference5863


In this poll, basketball fans -- 39 percent of the public -- say they are very or somewhat interested in following the sport.

Younger Americans (ages 18 to 29) are the most interested in professional basketball. More than half of them are interested in the sport, compared with just a third of those 30 and older. Men are somewhat more likely to follow basketball (43 percent are fans.) However, a third of women say they're interested in following the sport.

This poll was conducted among a nationwide random sample of 1,118 adults, interviewed by telephone October 26-28, 1998. The error due to sampling could be plus or minus three percentage points for results based on the entire sample.