Basketball jones: Fan passion, motives, and reactions to the suspension of the National Basketball Association season due to COVID-19

The suspension of the 2019-2020 National Basketball Association (NBA) season due to the COVID-19 pandemic meant that NBA fans were unable to engage in an activity that they loved in the midst of a global health crisis. In this research, we assessed if fan responses to the suspension and the COVID-19 pandemic were associated with different types of fan passion and motives. Shortly after the NBA season suspension, NBA fans (N = 395) completed online surveys assessing harmonious and obsessive passion for being an NBA fan, motives for watching games, and various attitudes and responses to the suspension and COVID-19. We found that both fan passion and motives predicted responses to the suspension and COVID-19, particularly obsessive passion which predicted greater levels of distress, coping responses, and negative attitudes toward both the suspension and COVID-19. These findings have implications for both the passion and fan motives literatures.
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