Home Features NBA Stars with the Most Followers

NBA Stars with the Most Followers

Instagram is a popular social media platform for photographic communication, and it may be beneficial to a wide range of people, from everyday Joes to megastars. It's a great method for sports fans to keep up with professional athletes (like your beloved NBA players), and like everybody else using Instagram, some athletes have much more followers than others stars. This can be attributed to a variety of reasons, including the player's popularity and the frequency with which he or she updates images or clips.

So, we also examined Instagram data to discover which players, franchises, divisions, and roles have had the most followers, as well as how a superstar might trigger a shift of power if he joins a new club. Let us just take a closer look at who the top NBA players are all on Instagram and whether they compare to the entire league.

LeBron vs. Everyone Else


The Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James is at the top of the list, which is not surprising given his immense popularity and the number of awards he's received throughout his 15-plus years in the NBA. The multiple-time NBA champ boasts 46.4 million followers on Instagram, which is near twice as many as the next player on the list. The Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry, a 3-time NBA champion, has 23.4 million subscribers, which is still a large number.

The two top Instagram stars outperform the remaining top 25. Following Curry is Kyrie Irving, who has 12.4 million followers. Irving, who began his professional career in Cleveland and won a title alongside James in 2016, now competes for the Boston Celtics. Russel Westbrook and Dwyane Wade are the other two athletes with over 12 million followers.

The number of followers decreases dramatically from there, but each of the top 25 men has a minimum of 3 million fans. Names on this list are well-known, maybe even beyond the casual fan, such as Carmelo Anthony (6.3 million), James Harden (8.7 million), Kevin Love (3 million), and Giannis Antetokounmpo (3.8 million).

The Top 10 Most Popular NBA Teams on Instagram


Then, we examined the teams having the most Instagram subscribers, based on a combination of the organizations' players' followers on social media and the main team accounts. The Los Angeles Lakers are at the top of this list, which is likely owing to their long record of championship campaigns and a massive fan base — maybe strengthened by the acquisition of LeBron James to the squad before the 2019 season began. Their 4.2 million followers put them above the reigning champs, the Golden State Warriors (who have been in four finals and won three), who have 3.3 million followers.

The Houston Rockets have had the third most fans, with 1.8 million, followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder, who has 1.5 million. The Boston Celtics (1.2 million), Miami Heat (1 million), and Philadelphia 76ers are the only other franchises with a million or greater Instagram subscribers.

The remainder of the top ten have fewer than a million Instagram followers, but it doesn't imply their numbers are insignificant. The Cavaliers have a fan base of 981k, the Trail Blazers have a fan base of 592k, and the Wizards have a fan base of 589k.

West is Best


We then examined the average number of NBA Instagram followers at each division. The West has nearly twice as many followers as the East, which is likely due to the LA Lakers' profile, which has the greatest Instagram fan following for its athletes and is located right inside the Western Conference, as well as other famous teams on Instagram such as the Rockets and Warriors.

When we break each conference into its three components, the chasm here between two divisions becomes much clearer. The Pacific Division of the Western Conference outnumbers the other five divisions by a wide margin, with almost a million more subscribers than the next closest division in terms of the number of followers, the Northwest Division of the West. The next top sectors are in the West, as well as the three Eastern Conference sectors fill up the bottom half, only with Central Division placing last.

Leaders of the East


Following that, we divided the Eastern Conference into divisions to see which players had the most Instagram connections for each team. Two players immediately jump out: Dwyane Wade in Miami and Kyrie Irving in Boston, who both have above 12 million subscribers. Additional teams that stand out are the Cleveland Cavaliers of the Central Division. This is not surprising given that the Cavs have been to the NBA Finals four times in a row (winning one title), establishing several of its players as household names such as Tristan Thompson (3.05 million), Kevin Love (2.96 million) and, J.R. Smith (4.26 million followers).

On the flip side, there are teams with only one player with over a million Instagram followers, like the Chicago Bulls, with Zach LaVine holding the honor with 1.86 million followers. The Milwaukee Bucks are another case, however, Giannis Antetokounmpo, their star with over a million followers, has a whopping 3.79 million followers. Eric Bledsoe, who has 580,000 followers, is the next man on the Bucks' list.

Western Conference Overall Rankings on Instagram


Then we move onto the West, where the figures are unquestionably higher than in the East. For starters, the NBA's most popular player is in this division (Laker LeBron James, with 46.45 million followers in the Pacific Division). The Golden State Warriors have a lot of fans, including Curry, who's had 23.42 million, Kevin Durant, who's had 10.35 million, Klay Thompson, who's had 5.87 million, and Draymond Green, who's had 3.17 million. In fact, neither of these clubs' top five figures are less than a million.

Other franchises with big names on their rosters include the Oklahoma City Thunder (Westbrook has 12.01 million and Paul George has 7.11 million) as well as the Rockets (Carmelo Anthony with 6.34 million, Chris Paul with 8.43 million, and Harden.

There are also a few teams with individual fanbases of less than a million, but major players with massive fan bases help support the league as a collective.

According to Position


Finally, we looked to discover which player positions had the most Instagram followers on aggregate. With an average of 1.1 million followers, power forwards claim the top rank here. Point guards (1 million) followers are followed by small forwards (375,000), centers (442,000), and shooting guards (639,000).

While perspectives differ, there seem to be arguments that can be made for almost any of these stances in terms of appeal. In addition, based on the matchup and the coach's match strategy, athletes might play many positions. On the NBA website, LeBron James is labeled as a forward, which implies he may play small forward or power forward.

Confusing Figures

LeBron James has led the NBA with a total of 46.4 million followers and counting. This is more than the combined figure of the Houston Rockets and OKC Thunder’s top five.

As previously stated, LeBron James has by far the most Instagram followers in the NBA. And, while both the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder have multiple players with a large number of followers, James' 46.4 million followers outnumber the top five Rockets and Thunder players together.

Stephen Curry’s 23.4 million followers are the most of any point guard and over triple that of the top five small forwards and centers.

In addition, Stephen Curry, the athlete with the second-highest number of Instagram fans, has an intriguing point. With 23.4 million followers, his are the most of any point guard in the league, and it is more than treble the figure of fans of the top five small forwards and centers.

Closing Statement

Pro sportsmen, like with the rest of us, utilize social media, don't they? That is if you don't consider their huge followings. Some celebrities have a large following, while others do not. It's always interesting to examine how different players, franchises, and divisions compare.

Our Method and Limits

We obtained the Instagram follower counts of NBA players for our investigation. Utilizing team lineups as of January 14, 2019, we researched and compared follower counts of the most well-known sportsmen to determine the top five most-followed players in each squad. We only utilized Instagram accounts that were verified. The research excluded players who did not have official accounts, such as Vince Carter. The biggest disadvantage of this study is that follower counts may have changed from the dates they were first pulled due to trades, injuries, and retirement, which may have an influence on the players now listed amongst the top five for their particular clubs.