The NBA has always been a popularity contest when it comes to the game's biggest stars, and this is especially the case in today's league. With social media governing much of what we do on a daily basis, it has never been easier to track what our favorite NBA stars are up to every day on the court or otherwise.
Grabbing headlines, putting forward dominant performances on the court, and even raising eyebrows on fashion are all factors in determining how popular NBA superstars are today. Without further ado, here are the 10 most popular players in the NBA right now.
10. Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving always seems to say outlandish things off the court which might rub a lot of people the wrong way. But he always seems to make it up when he dominates on the court, and he is truly one of the most fun players to watch in the NBA right now. Irving's dribbling and shooting ability is an absolute joy to behold, and it is his partnership with Kevin Durant that will make a ton of headlines in Brooklyn this season.
9. Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis may have his critics in New Orleans after he forced his way out of there over a year ago, but no one would argue that it was well worth it. Davis captured his first NBA championship after only one season in Los Angeles. Davis led the Lakers in scoring last season by posting 26.2 PPG and he was absolutely key for the franchise lifting their 17th NBA title. Davis and LeBron James are still the best duo in the league and they will be the favorites for lifting the trophy in 2021 yet again.
8. James Harden
The Beard probably lost a ton of fans after his ridiculous off-court behavior this off-season. Harden showed up to training camp late and out of shape, and basically had "Get Me Out Of Houston" written on his face. Fast forward a few games later, and Harden has shown why he is one of the most valuable players in the world. Even while out of shape, Harden is very capable of dropping 50 points and that is why he is the single greatest scorer in the game today.
7. Giannis Antetokounmpo
The Greek Freak has had a phenomenal career already and his past 2 seasons are an indication of what Giannis can bring to the NBA. Antetokounmpo is becoming the face of the league and all eyes will be on him this season to get the Bucks to the Eastern Conference Finals at the very least. Giannis Antetokounmpo signed a massive 5-year extension to remain with the Milwaukee Bucks and he gained a boatload of fans who appreciated his loyalty in that regard. Giannis is once again a favorite for the MVP Award this year and is one of the top five players in the world which makes The Greek Freak an easy inclusion to this list.
6. Zion Williamson
It is very hard to dislike Zion Williamson because he plays hard every night and is a box office star. Zion showed he had flashes of brilliance last season and if he managed to play more games, he would have been the runaway favorite for the Rookie Of The Year Award. This season, he has very high expectations and he wants to try to make an All-Star team as he tries to make the playoffs with New Orleans. Whether the Pelicans are good enough for a playoff spot or not, people will continue tuning in to watch Zion Williamson and that makes him one of the most popular players in the world.
5. Damian Lillard
The Portland Trail Blazers superstar is a 50-point explosion waiting to happen. No player in the NBA, outside of Stephen Curry, can drain deep threes like Lillard and he is an outstanding overall point guard. Lillard impacts the game at the point guard spot at a Hall of Fame level, and he has a very solid supporting cast around him this season. Lillard's loyalty to Portland and hunger to win a chip is a major reason why he has a ton of fans across the league, not to mention that he is a box office offensive superstar.
4. Luka Doncic
Luka has yet to find his rhythm after failing to get in shape during training camp. Doncic isn't at his best, but he is still better than over half the league. Luka led the Mavericks to a shocking playoff seed last season and will most likely repeat that feat in 2021. Doncic, alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, is the most dominant foreign player in the league right now and that means he has a massive following of fans all over the globe. Doncic is expected to be the favorite for the MVP Award this year, so he should get into superstar shape over the next few weeks.
3. Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant certainly has his detractors across the league after his lack of loyalty was shown to both Oklahoma City and Golden State. Still, Durant is one of the greatest players of all time and an absolute joy to watch on the basketball court. Very few players have Durant's raw talent and skill, and we are all truly lucky to be watching an all-time great scorer go to work every night. Durant seems to be at his best following a severe Achilles injury 2 years ago so he is expected to lead the Brooklyn Nets to one of the top 3 seeds in a talented Eastern Conference this year.
2. Stephen Curry
How can you not love the Baby-Faced Assassin, Stephen Curry? The man is the single greatest shooter in NBA history and he keeps reminding us that it isn't close. Neither Klay Thompson, Ray Allen, nor Reggie Miller has Curry's ability to create his own threes from anywhere on the court and make it rain every game at a consistent rate. Curry's offense is a blessing to watch and he is very capable of repeating a 62-point performance like we saw last night. Curry looks to be at his best yet again and if Draymond Green can remain healthy, the Warriors will likely enter the postseason.
1. LeBron James
Who else would be number one? No player in the NBA comes close to LeBron in terms of grabbing all the headlines and dominating the game of basketball. Whether you adore him or can't stand him, LeBron is undoubtedly one of the most iconic sports figures in history. LeBron makes news everywhere he goes because he has this imposing aura about him. He is supremely gifted, a leader of the highest sense of the word, and is currently playing on the best (and flashiest) team in the world. LeBron will be looking to win ring #5 this season and he retains his spot as the most popular player in the NBA right now.