Instagram is a widely utilized social media platform for visual storytelling, and it may be helpful for a wide range of people, from everyday Joes to huge celebrities. As with everyone else on Instagram, some athletes have more followers than others. For sports fans, Instagram is a simple method to follow professional athletes, including their favorite NBA players. This may be attributed to a variety of variables, such as the player’s popularity or the frequency with which he or she shares images and videos.
We examined Instagram data to determine which players, clubs, conferences, and positions had the most followers, as well as how a superstar’s transfer to a new team might trigger a power shift. Let’s examine which NBA players have the most Instagram followers and how the rest of the league compares.
King James… and All Others
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers is at the top of the heap, which is unsurprising given his immense popularity and the amount of awards he has amassed in his 15-plus seasons in the NBA. The three-time NBA champion has nearly twice as many Instagram followers as the next athlete on the list. Stephen Curry of Golden State, a three-time NBA champion, has 23.4 million followers, which is still a substantial number.
These top two Instagram stars dwarf the remaining top 25. Kyrie Irving follows Curry with 12.4 million followers. Irving, who began his career in Cleveland and won the 2016 title with James, is presently a member of the Boston Celtics. Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook are the other two individuals with over 12 million followers.
From then, the number of followers decreases dramatically, yet each of these top 25 men has at least 3 million followers. Names such as James Harden (8.7 million), Carmelo Anthony (6.3 million), Giannis Antetokounmpo (3.8 million), and Kevin Love feature on this list and are likely well-known outside of the realm of casual fans (3 million).
Next, we examined the teams with the most Instagram followers, based on the sum of the Instagram followers of each team’s players and the official team accounts. The Los Angeles Lakers are at the top of this list, which is likely owing to their lengthy history of championship seasons and enormous fan base — maybe boosted by the signing of LeBron James before the 2019 season began. Their 4.2 million followers surpass the 3.3 million followers of the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors (who have competed in the past four finals and won three).
The Houston Rockets have the third-most fans with 1,8 million, followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder with 1.5 million. The Celtics (1,2 million), the Heat (1 million), and the 76ers each have a million or more Instagram followers (1 million).
The remainder of the top ten have fewer than one million followers, but it does not imply that they are insignificant. The Cavaliers are first with 981,000, followed by the Trail Blazers and the Wizards.
We also examined the average number of NBA Instagram followers each conference. The Western Conference has nearly twice as many Instagram followers as the Eastern Conference, which is likely due to the LA Lakers’ account, which has the largest Instagram fan base for its players and is conveniently located in the Western Conference, as well as other popular teams on Instagram such as the Warriors and Rockets.
When we break each conference into its three parts, the distinction between the two conferences becomes even more pronounced. The Pacific Division in the Western Conference has almost one million more followers than the Northwest Division in the West, the division with the second-most followers. The next highest divisions are in the Western Conference, followed by the three divisions of the Eastern Conference and the Central Division.
Next, we dissected each Eastern Conference division to see which players had the most Instagram followers for each club. Kyrie Irving in Boston and Dwyane Wade in Miami, who each have over 12 million followers, stand out immediately. The Cleveland Cavaliers, who play in the Central Division, are one of the other clubs that stand out. Some of their players, like J.R. Smith (4.26 million followers), Tristan Thompson (3.0 million), and Kevin Love, have become household names as a result of the Cavs’ four consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals (winning one title) (2.96 million).
On the other side, there are teams where only one player has over a million Instagram followers, like as the Chicago Bulls, where Zach LaVine has 1.86 million followers. The Milwaukee Bucks are another example, albeit Giannis Antetokounmpo has a staggering 3.79 million followers. Eric Bledsoe is the next Bucks player on the list, with 580,000 followers.
Next, we’ll examine the Western Division, where the numbers are significantly more than in the Eastern Division. The NBA player with the most following is present at this conference (Laker LeBron James, with 46.45 million in the Pacific Division). In addition to Curry’s 23.42 million, Kevin Durant’s 10.35 million, Klay Thompson’s 5.87 million, and Draymond Green’s 3.17 million, the Golden State Warriors have a large number of followers throughout their whole roster. In fact, neither of these teams had any numbers below one million in their top five.
Other clubs, such as the Oklahoma City Thunder (Westbrook with $12.01 million and Paul George with $7.11 million) and the Houston Rockets, also boast star players (Harden with 8.67 million, Chris Paul with 8.43 million, and Carmelo Anthony with 6.34 million).
There are also a number of clubs whose players have fan bases of less than one million, yet superstars with massive fan bases dominate the conference as a whole.
Finally, we determined which player positions had the largest average number of Instagram followers. With an average of 1.1 million followers, power forwards are in first place. Following point guards with a million followers are shooting guards (639,00), centers (442,000), and small forwards with a million followers (375,000).
There are reasons can be made for practically all of these common stances, notwithstanding divergent opinions. Also, players can play many positions, depending on the matchup and the game strategy of the coach. On the NBA website, LeBron James is labeled as a forward, which implies he can play either power forward or small forward.
In addition, Stephen Curry, the player with the second-most Instagram followers, has an interesting message of his own. His 23,4 million followers are more than all other point guards in the NBA combined, and quadruple the number of the top five centers and small forwards.
Since professional athletes utilize social media, they must be just like the rest of us, right? However, you do not count their millions of followers. Some superstars attract a large number of fans, whilst other athletes do not. It is always interesting to compare players, teams, and whole conferences.
Methods and Restrictions
For this study, we gathered the number of Instagram followers of NBA players. Using team rosters as of January 14, 2019, we studied and compared the follower counts of the five most-followed athletes each squad. We only utilized Instagram accounts that were verified. Players without official accounts, such as Vince Carter, were excluded from the research. The primary disadvantage of this study is that follower counts may have changed since the dates they were first collected owing to trades, injuries, and retirement, which may have an influence on the players now listed among the top five for their respective clubs.
Fair Use Declaration
Not everyone has the clout to become an Instagram celebrity, but that doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining to watch professional sportsmen use the platform. If you choose to distribute our results for nonprofit causes, you are welcome to do so. Linking back to this page will ensure that our contributions receive the recognition they deserve.