The Los Angeles Lakers are the NBA’s most popular team and have been for quite some time. It can be seen most clearly when the Lakers find themselves with more fans at a road game or online, where L.A. is the consistent main topic of conversation.
Part of the reason for that is the types of superstars that have played for the Lakers in their history. Since 1996, L.A. has had just two seasons where Kobe Bryant or LeBron James — two of the all-time greats of basketball — were not on their roster.
So when it comes to athletes being in the national conversation, James and the late Lakers legend Bryant are always going to be towards the top of the list.
This was proven when Uninterrupted posted a list of the five most tweeted about male athletes in 2021, with James taking the top spot and Bryant finishing in third:
Uninterrupted doesn’t give too much detail in terms of how they got their numbers or where the data is coming from, but it has to be assumed that this list is relegated to United States sports only. If it was a global list, surely Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo would be at or near the top.
So with that said, it makes complete sense that James is atop this list. The NBA conversation has revolved around James for nearly two decades now, and it has only increased with time. Even with James in Year 19 and at age 37, he continues to be the top talking point of every sports talking head.
Bryant being third shows the continued impact he’s had on the sports world nearly two years after his tragic death in January of 2020. He remains a go-to inspirational figure for Lakers fans and just about anyone who needs Mamba Mentality.
Tom Brady at No. 2, Kyrie Irving at No. 4, and Aaron Rodgers at No. 5 all are predictable as well. Despite being in his mid-40s, Brady remains at the top of his game and is among the frontrunners to win NFL MVP in 2021.
Meanwhile, Irving and Rodgers both make the list not only for their talent but also the controversy they stirred in 2021 for their thoughts surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and vaccinations.
FVogel encouraging responsibility amid COVID outbreaks
The NBA season has already faced significant difficulties with COVID outbreaks, affecting a number of teams including the Chicago Bulls and Charlotte Hornets. Because of this, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel preached responsibility with regard to vaccinations and protocols.
“We’re just continuing to encourage the booster,” Vogel said. “Encourage to exercise everything that goes into prevention, washing hands, wearing a mask, all those types of things. How concerned am I? It’s just kind of wait and see. You hope for the best, hopefully it doesn’t come into our group and ask for guys to just be as responsible as possible.”
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