Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James and Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant find themselves constantly in the spotlight, and as it turns out, they are the two most hated players in basketball.
At least according to Twitter.
SportsInsider.com (h/t Drew Costley of SFGate.com) analyzed more than 100,000 tweets in the two weeks following the 2019 NBA Finals, diving into all of the tweets filled with "hating" or "disliking" players. And in the end, James and Durant were the two primary targets of the haters:
James claimed "victory" in a league-high 25 states, with Durant not far behind with 17 states. Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving (five states), Anthony Davis (two states) and James Harden (one state) also found themselves on the map.
While James will go down as one of the greatest players in NBA history, his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in 2010 via "The Decision" rubbed people the wrong way. And his decision to join the Lakers likely didn't help his cause, either.
And as James attempts to become the "Greatest of All Time," his every move has been under the microscope for years. While he has made nine NBA Finals in his career, his critics point out his 3-6 record.
Durant has been the subject of criticism ever since he decided to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Warriors, who were coming off a record-setting 73-9 campaign, in 2016. Winning back-to-back championships and Finals MVP awards has done little to silence his haters.
Irving had Boston Celtics fans turn against him during a tumultuous 2018-19 campaign that resulted in a second-round exit. While he had verbally committed to re-signing with the team in October 2018, all signs have pointed to him leaving via free agency this summer.
As for Davis, the six-time All-Star burned all of his bridges in New Orleans while forcing his way out of town.