An NBA game isn’t just about the play on the floor, but also the full experience during the event. NBA cheerleading squads (dance teams) provide a sexy spice to the NBA experience, combining seductive dance with smoking hot bodies. In addition to the dancing there is timing, costumes and the occasional actual cheer (although most just dance these days). Some teams have mastered the art of NBA dance teams, but really, in the end, it’s the girls that make or break their dance teams.
NBA cheerleading squads have been around since the seventies, but it was in 1979 when Jerry Buss, the owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, created the Laker Girls. He wanted to provide entertainment for the entire game, not just during play. He put together a group that was as hot as they were talented as dancers. Some believe it was Magic Johnson that created the Laker nickname “Showtime,” but I think the Laker Girls could argue that point.
This list breaks down the top ten cheerleading squads in the NBA. Just missing the cut was the Detroit Pistons Dancers. It’s probably difficult to perform in half-empty arenas, but these girls have kept up the intensity and provide more entertainment than their recent sorry excuse for a team. We’ve got small markets and big markets covered; hot climates and cold climates as well. Of course, Los Angeles is well represented. Here are your top ten NBA cheerleading squads.
10 Milwaukee Bucks Dancers
Known as Energee, the Bucks dancers continue to get better each year. In addition to dancing and shaking their booty, these girls also elevate the fans' social media experience. They take part in photo shoots that are used throughout the season and shared via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Expect to see action shots as well as what these girls wear on a night on the town. Of course, this is Milwaukee so their popularity is limited, but that’s no fault of this squad. Unfortunately there are many that still don’t realize Milwaukee has an NBA franchise! The good news is that there is a new Sheriff (new owners) in town and they are all about adding entertainment value. Expect Energee to be a big part of this experience.
9 Los Angeles Clippers Spirit Dance Team
Just like the Clipper basketball franchise, the Spirit Dance team is known as the “other” L.A. NBA dance team. The Spirit Dance Team brings it for their fans and definitely up for the L.A. underdog challenge. New ownership is big into technology, leaving no shortage of social media posts, images and updates for fans to browse. Most important – these girls look Hollywood! The truth is, much like their NBA team, this dance team can compete with anyone on this list, including their L.A. competition. If the past couple years are any indication, history may be reversing and Spirit Dance team are up for the task.
8 Brooklyn Brooklynettes
The newest NBA franchise, the Brooklyn Nets, boast one of the more giving dance squads. The Brooklyn Brooklynettes (not so sure about that name, but oh well), are big time on the court and also off the court, known for doing a lot in the surrounding community. They also have a strong Facebook page that is filled with updates on where they are in the community as well as photos of the girls. I don’t know if it’s intentional, but these girls look “Brooklyn” and that is a huge compliment. There isn’t an Instagram account (or at least not anything noteworthy), but I would expect that to change.
7 Portland Trail Blazer Dancers
Until recently it’s been easy to forget about the NBA in the Pacific Northwest. Now, the Trail Blazers are competing on the court during the game and during breaks. Quite candidly, the Trail Blazer Dancers like to get down and dirty with their routines. A YouTube favorite of many, this group uses their sexuality to their advantage, producing an entertaining side show at games. On the social media front, they also succeed, posting galleries on Facebook and adding lots of content across Twitter and Instagram as well. Obviously dancing is an art that can be used to convey many emotions. The Trail Blazer girls' routines always seem to have a segment of “this is where they grind” which, let’s face it, should really be a template for all NBA dance teams.
6 New York Knicks City Dancers
As the saying goes, if you can make it here you can make it anywhere. The Knicks City Dancers get the best talent, often girls looking to get noticed. These days the product on the court isn’t much to watch, but these girls keep the crowd excited and the media on the edge of their seats. With Broadway only blocks away, the routines need to be tight and the girls “tens” on the looks scale. Ownership continues to support these dancers and they have added an Instagram account for pictures of your favorite girls in uniform. In a city full of beautiful women, these girls represent well. Plus, spandex!
5 Toronto Raptors Dance Pak
Man, it gets really cold in Toronto during the NBA season, but the Raptors Dance Pak keep things warm during home games. If you are into hot cheerleaders having fun this group is a must see. The Raptors Dance Pak keeps it real for their fans, posting a lot of content across social media. Especially on Instagram – check them out and you will want to keep following. Right now is a great time to be a Raptor fan (don’t hear that often), the team is on the up and up and they have a dance team that is as well.
4 Phoenix Suns Dancers
I don’t know if it’s the desert or if this group of girls is more attractive than the other teams, but the Suns Dancers are one of the sexiest teams in the NBA. Actually, maybe it’s the team colors; it just mixes well with blond hair! They are often ranked in the top 5 anytime NBA cheerleaders are discussed and the team has kicked it up a notch, posting new photos every day on Instagram. Fans may come to see the basketball team, but they are well aware of the Suns Dancers and look forward to the added entertainment each home game. Actually, now that I’ve researched more, the team colors also mix well with black, brown and red hair.
3 Oklahoma City Thunder Girls
Their basketball team is one of the young hot teams in the NBA so it makes sense that the Thunder Girls have the same reputation. The Thunder Girls keep their social media feeds up to date with fresh material and images to view at their fans' convenience. However, the real value of this crew is what they bring to home games. Anyone who has attended (or watched) a Thunder home game understands the electricity inside the arena. The Thunder Girls keep this excitement alive even when the whistle blows, accelerating with non-stop energy, keeping their fans on their feet (or sitting and browsing their Instagram account).
2 Los Angeles Lakers Laker Girls
The Laker Girls are the Dallas Cowboy Cowgirl cheerleaders of the NBA. Paula Abdul started off as a Laker Girl where she was “discovered” (by The Jacksons of all people). As you would expect, the Laker Girls have a very Southern California look (read: gorgeous and often blond) and moves that to impress and bleed sex. Their history even inspired a movie starring Tina Yothers (yes, the one from Family Ties) and Baywatch star, Alexandra Paul. Laker fans are loud and proud of their NBA team and their Laker Girls. Watch them on YouTube and it’s hard to argue, except for…
1 Miami Heat Dancers
Miami is hot, but these girls are hotter. Smoking hot! Check out their Instagram, I’ll wait. Okay, now pull up your pants and I’m pretty sure we can all agree this is the crème de la crème of NBA dancers. The Heat Dancers do not have a Facebook page, because why should they. Instagram is where it’s at for these girls. Of course having the hottest team on the court (and winning titles) the past few years helps, but that just means the Heat Dancers have to pick up the slack. How will they do this? Wearing tiny spandex shorts is a good start.