From Kobe Bryant to Lonzo Ball, and even the latter’s father LaVar Ball, people around the Los Angeles Lakers are almost never strangers to the spotlight.
The two members of the Ball family have especially set social media ablaze this season, with Lonzo Ball getting tons of attention for his shooting struggles and the resulting schadenfreude while his father feuds with the President Donald Trump, former Lakers coach Byron Scott and everyone in between.
And despite retiring almost two full years ago, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant has continued to be a hot topic of discussion on Twitter, remaining one of the most polarizing figures in the NBA despite walking away from the game so long ago.
Looking at one’s timeline would make all three appearing among Twitter’s most mentioned sports figures seem like it could be true, and Darren Rovell of ESPN proved that it was empirically factual:
Most mentioned sports figures on Twitter since the start of the NBA season. pic.twitter.com/bSUBzqCh0l
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) December 5, 2017
Making this more impressive is that this list seems to mostly factor just the three’s official Twitter mentions into the count, meaning that countless tweets referring to Bryant as just “Kobe” or the Balls as just “Lonzo” and “LaVar” (as is commonly done) wouldn’t have contributed to their final tallies.
This list, and especially Bryant’s name being on it, shows the power of the Lakers’ brand. When people talk about the power of a big market mattering to free agents, this is the type of thing they mean.
Ball is having a historically bad shooting season, Bryant hasn’t suited up in almost two years and LaVar has never even played in the NBA. Still, they’re more popular than some of the league’s best players.
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