NBA superstars are often divided in terms of their love and hate. When looking at the most popular players in the game today, there are 10 standout players. Fan favorites are often the players who are humble off the court or have transcendent skills that are incomparable to others in the league.
The most favorite players in the NBA seem to have some things in common, and many of these players on this list are either foreign players or have managed to overcome odds to become NBA stars. Without further ado, here are the top 10 most popular players in the NBA.
10. Boban Marjanovic
Boban Marjanovic is a gentle giant off the court. Everybody loves a big man who is goofy, like Shaquille O'Neal for example, and Marjanovic doesn't take things too seriously. He is a massive player, standing 7'4", but he doesn't allow that to get in the way of having fun and being himself.
On the court, it is always a joy to see Boban tower over other large NBA players. He is so massive that seeing him dunk without even jumping always sparks conversation in any fan's household. Thanks to his personality and size on the court, Boban kicks off the list of most popular players.
9. Alex Caruso
The Bald Eagle, Alex Caruso was the ultimate meme star. He did not look like much, but his insane hops put tons of players on posters and fans ate it up. Caruso also plays for a big market in Los Angeles so his reach on social media and on the highlight reel is also very wide. But he has also blossomed into a very effective role player.
Playing alongside LeBron James always brings attention, but Caruso is almost always regarded in a good light. He is an excellent defender, attacks the rim with force, and plays hard to help the Lakers win games. He knows his role, plays it well, and that's why he is one of the most popular players in the NBA.
8. Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson is one of the cornerstones of the dominant Golden State Warriors dynasty. Klay Thompson, the No. 11 pick in the 2011 draft, blossomed into one of the best overall players in the NBA. After making the All-Rookie Team averaging 12.5 PPG, Klay developed into an All-Star just three years later. He has made the last 5 All-Star Teams.
Klay Thompson is one of the most underrated stars in the NBA, and his willingness to take a backseat role for the sake of the team is what makes him beloved by fans. He knew Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant were generational players and he played his role as the best defender on the team as a result. Of course, fans love to see Klay get hot from the perimeter and as shown by a game where he nailed 14 threes in a single game, he can tear a roof down anywhere he goes.
7. Stephen Curry
The Baby Faced Assassin, Stephen Curry is the best point guard in the NBA. The way he changed the game makes him a fan favorite because we have never seen a player without incredible physical abilities dominate the game like Steph. He is also the best shooter in NBA history and the architect of 3 NBA championships for Golden State.
Stephen Curry raises the roof every time he plays because he can go off for 40 or 50 points with ease. His ability to get hot and nail threes to blow teams out is something extraordinary, and fans of all ages love to watch him go off. Curry is a winner and a humble person off the court, making him a box office attraction everywhere he goes.
6. Giannis Antetokounmpo
The Greek Freak wants to be the best player in NBA history, and he is not shy about admitting it. But he goes about methodically reaching his goals, improving his game as he matures every season. Giannis went from a raw and athletic forward to one of the most dominant two-way players in the world. As a foreign player with humble beginnings, everyone wants to see Giannis succeed.
Antetokounmpo never takes a night off and makes his teammates better. He made Khris Middleton into an All-Star who got max money and he did the same for Jrue Holiday. Giannis wants everyone on his team to eat and wants to bring a title to the Bucks. His loyalty and dedication to bring great are one reason fans adore the 2-time MVP.
5. Jimmy Butler
Everybody loves an underdog, and Jimmy Butler is the epitome of a player who shouldn't be where he is right now. Butler was a raw forward who did not have an offensive game, but hard work and dedication have placed him in a position as the franchise player for the Miami Heat. Making max money, Butler is a bonafide All-Star in the NBA.
Jimmy Butler plays hard on both ends and does not take nights off. He wants to win at all costs and the fact that he led the dark horse team in the East to the Finals last year only makes him more popular. Butler's competitive spirit and confident trash talk on the court is refreshing in today's NBA and fans love it.
4. Derrick Rose
NBA fans adore Derrick Rose because they are reminiscent of his MVP days. Rose was the youngest MVP in NBA history in 2011, where he averaged 25.0 PPG and 7.7 APG as the most athletic point guard in NBA history. Fans loved seeing Rose explode to the basket, finish over defenders, and rise as the best player in the NBA.
As a result, everyone wants to see Rose recapture his All-Star form after injuries cut short a Hall of Fame career. Even though Rose will never be a superstar again, seeing him doing well on the court and enjoying his basketball brings back a ton of warm memories for every fan.
3. Zion Williamson
Zion Williamson is the ultimate babyface. He has a humble demeanor on and off the court and is exceptionally dominant. Averaging 26.8 PPG and 7.1 RPG this season, Zion has met fan expectations so early on in his career and that makes him a fan favorite.
Williamson's popularity will only increase as he becomes the next face of the NBA, and as he improved his all-around game. The fact that Zion plays for a small market might be helping him now as fans cheer for underdogs, but as he gains more worldwide exposure he will start craving a bigger market.
2. Nikola Jokic
It is very hard not to love Nikola Jokic. He doesn't look like much but impacts the game at an MVP level, which is what fans absolutely love about him. Jokic is down-to-earth off the court and shows his competitive streak in a totally different manner. That's what makes him so unique.
Denver's superstar is averaging 26.3 PPG and 10.9 RPG this season, and his popularity might be giving him an edge in the MVP debate. Jokic is a center who can do everything on the court which is always a positive, but it's his nonchalant look on his face that everyone loves.
1. Luka Doncic
Luka is the most likable superstar in the NBA because he has everything going for him to be popular. For one, he is a foreign player entering a land ruled by North Americans. Despite that, Luka is an MVP player so soon and he has gathered respect from across the league with his play.
Luka also has that natural smile on his face and he truly enjoys playing the game. Things come too easy for Luka on the court, which makes his game a joy to watch. Doncic is also goofy off the court and his laid-back attitude paired with his dominant displays every night makes him the league's most popular player.