LeBron James and Stephen Curry have traded spots as the favorite NBA player over the past four seasons. While Curry passed James after winning his first championship in 2015, James took over the #1 spot after winning the title in 2016. James remained the favorite player during the 16-17 season despite the Warriors winning the championship, and has ranked as the favorite for the 17-18 season so far.
James (favorite for 14.2% of NBA fans) and Curry (11.5%) were the two most popular players in the NBA by far during the 17-18 season. The Celtics’ Kyrie Irving ranked a distant third at 2.4% (among NBA fans). James was the favorite for most demographic groups, but Curry did rank higher with both 12-17 year-olds and females. One notable difference was in their home markets. James was the favorite player for 80% of NBA fans in Cleveland, while Curry was the favorite for 50% of fans in the San Francisco-Oakland market. Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson accounted for another 11% of favorite NBA player mentions locally in San Francisco-Oakland.
The Luker on Trends Sports Poll is the longest-running continuous tracking service on sports in the U.S. Sports Poll has conducted more than 500,000 interviews over 24 years. Data is collected 350+ days a year from a nationally representative sample of Americans age 12 and older by SSRS. Interviews were conducted with 1,500 Americans each month via landline, cell phone, and internet, and offered in both English and Spanish.