Top NBA Players With the Highest Social Interactions Among Fans

With the NBA finals finishing up in June, July is the first month without any NBA games occurring on the court. However, the NBA was still the talk of the sports world at the beginning of the month, with free agency getting underway on July 1st. Multiple big-time players switched teams, causing a shift in social media interactions for certain players. Overall, the league MVP cedes the top spot as recently retired Dwyane Wade reclaims the number one ranking. Steph Curry falls out of the top 10, dropping to less than 1M total interactions, and Danny Green also falls out of the rankings. DeMarcus Cousins and Paul George make the biggest jumps into the top 10 for this month.

Dwyane Wade Reclaims His Social Crown

Wade registered almost 3 million more total interactions on his July posts than second-ranked Antetokounmpo got, although the league MVP did acquire 95k more followers this past month. Wade does a great job staying active, especially on Instagram, where he averaged one post a day for the month of July. Wade’s Instagram posts were highly engaging, garnering anywhere between 50k likes to over 3.3 million likes. Perhaps the biggest event for Wade during the month was announcing that he would be one of the players on the cover of NBA 2K – his announcement on Instagram on July 1st created 2.1M views and 10.7k comments.

Paul George Leaps Into the Top 5

Paul George soars up 14 spots to take a spot in the top 5, despite George only posting 6 times on Instagram during the month of July. The likely reason for George’s uptick in interactions was a result of one of the wildest free agencies in NBA history – minutes after it was announced that Kawhi Leonard would sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George was traded from Oklahoma City to the Clippers for a record amount of draft picks, sending shock waves through the league. It is not surprising that his two biggest posts were ones thanking the Oklahoma City Thunder and a picture of him and Leonard at their introductory press conference. George might be here to stay in the top 10, moving from a small market like OKC to Los Angeles means he is in a prime position to continue dominating on social media.  

DeMarcus Cousins is the Month’s Biggest Riser

Former Warriors big man, DeMarcus Cousins is the biggest riser in the top 10, Cousins climbed 33 spots to reach #10 on our rankings. Cousins has mainly been active on Twitter and Instagram. One reason for his rapid rise into the top 10 would be his decision to join the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency. Cousins chose to play in the second-largest media market in the country and got 251k likes and 3,400 comments on a picture of him at the Lakers training facility. Any time an athlete joins a historic team like the Lakers, they are likely to see a large spike in social media activity. Another big reason for Cousins’ quick rise is a picture he posted with former president Barack Obama, which generated 358k likes on Instagram. An important note about Cousins is that he was able to jump 33 spots while only posting a total of 17 times the entire month of July. This indicates a great engagement rate for the Lakers’ new center.

Wrap Up

In the first month with no on-court NBA action, Dwyane Wade swipes the top spot back from Giannis Antetokounmpo and we see Steph Curry and Danny Green falling out of the top 10, paving the way for newcomers Paul George and DeMarcus Cousins. The July rankings reflect the effects of a crazy free agency period while the following months leading up until October will feature no notable on-court NBA action.

Written by Garrett Mosher

Garrett is entering his 4th year at San Diego State University. He is pursuing a degree in economics with a minor in information systems and has acquired skills in business, data analytics, and marketing. As a product marketing intern with Hookit, he has learned how to analyze the effectiveness of sports sponsorships with an emphasis on how brands drive value from their ambassadors. If you wish to contact him please don’t hesitate to reach out on his LinkedIn.