Judging popularity based simply on Google results is certainly an inexact science. There are a lot of reasons you might search for an NBA player, for example. They might have a very talkative father. They might have surprised the entire NBA world and requested a trade away from a perennial power and the best basketball player on the planet. Or they might have been a major free agent and promptly suffered a horrific injury on national television.
Like I said, there are a lot of reasons to Google someone. For better or worse though, Google has announced its most-searched terms of 2017, and the final tallies for athlete and team searches are actually a bit surprising. For one, LeBron James is nowhere near the top 10 of most-searched NBA athletes. That honor goes to Kyrie Irving, he of the Boston Celtics after he hit the eject button out of Cleveland this summer.
Kyrie’s numbers were likely given a boost with that whole Flat Earth theory thing he said was a joke but almost certainly wasn’t. And second on that list, perhaps unsurprisingly, was Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball. He certainly would have plenty to search, including his signature shoe, the entire NBA world talking about him, and a rambunctuous father ready to say pretty much anything to keep his family in the news.
Here’s the top 10 of NBA athletes, provided by Google Trends.