The best basketball players in the world are also some of the most hated. In that exclusive circle, one man topped the list: Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James.
Apparently, fans either love or hate him, and there is no middle ground. Many of the reasons to hate James have nothing to do with basketball.
The Sports Insider survey only tracked negative mentions in tweets, It did not bother looking at positive tweets while conducting the study.
Sports Insider Study of Most Hated Players
According to a study by Sports Insider, the 17-year veteran and most popular active NBA player leads the “Most Hated Players in the NBA” list.
The study compiled negative mentions of NBA players on Twitter to identify which athletes are disliked the most. According to Mediate, over 70,000 tweets and hashtags underwent the study. These include hashtags such as “I hate LeBron” and “LeBron sucks.”
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On a state-by-state basis, James also ended as the most hated player in 24 states. It covers basketball-loving states such as Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, South Carolina, and Oregon.
Meanwhile, other NBA players also made the Most Hated list. This also includes Brooklyn Nets teammates Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Kevin Durant. The study also lists Washington Wizards player Russell Westbrook, as well as Los Angeles Clipper player Paul George.
‘A Polarizing Figure’
James is not a stranger to controversy. While the NBA sees James as the face of the league, he is also notorious for polarizing statements.
During the 2019 season, Houston Rockets General Manager tweeted a post supporting Hong Kong protesters while the NBA was conducting a goodwill tour of China.
This erupted into a fiery reaction from China, which removed the Rockets from all its stores and broadcasts immediately. James, upon his return from China, said that Morey “is either misinformed or not educated” about the issue.
He also said that Morey’s statements could harm many NBA players (especially those in China at the time) financially, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
Lately, James found himself in the middle of controversy when he inserted himself into a Columbus shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant. Police shot and killed Bryantas she attempted to stab another black woman during a heated altercation.
James took a photo of the police officer involved in the shooting and added “YOU’RE NEXT” as the caption. While James removed the tweet almost immediately, he never apologized for the indirect threats to the police officer.
Other NBA Players On The Most Hated List
Apart from James, former teammate and now Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving also joined the Most Hated list at number two. Irving is famous for his long and off-tangent replies to media questions.
He is also notorious for skipping media days and games every now and then. Brooklyn teammates James Harden and Kevin Durant join Irving on the list.
Watch the Daily Caller episode featuring LeBron James Is The NBA’s Most Hated Player:
Do you like LeBron James, or is he also part of your Most Hated list? Why do you like or dislike LeBron James?
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