If you believe in the mystic power of Google search counts — and I do, considering that people are at their most honest when searching things on Google — the most popular athlete in New York isn’t Carmelo Anthony, or Deron Williams, or Victor Cruz, or Eli Manning.
Nope, it’s none other than reigning four-time MVP, two-time NBA Finals winner, and Miami Heat forward LeBron James, who comes out on top in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and 19 other states across the country, leading all professional athletes in coverage. This comes from a report from Best Tickets, which does data visualizations about NBA fandom.
From the Best Tickets website
It makes sense. James is the league’s highest-profile athlete today, even if he’s not a New York player, and he’s got the top-selling NBA jersey. Plus, there’s the somewhat delusional thought he might leave Miami for the New York Knicks.
Carmelo Anthony was the top-ranked New York athlete in the country among Google searches, tying Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers for 17th with 450,000 searches per month. Paul Pierce was the highest-ranking Nets player, at 165,000 searches per month.
One other interesting note: Out of the 50 states, New York is the only one that has more searches for the NBA than the NFL. Proof that New York loves its basketball.