For the first time in four years, nearly 13 percent (12.9) of NBA fans said James was their favorite player in the league this season. Of Kobe Bryant, who came in a close second, 12.5 percent of the fans said he is their favorite.
The 2008-09 season was the only other time when the Miami Heat star passed Bryant as the top fan pick. The Lakers star won the honor five of six years, from 2006-07 to 2011-12.
“The Decision,” a 2010 televised special in which NBA player LeBron James announced that he would switch teams, caused the recent NBA champion’s popularity to decline. In his last season in Cleveland, 15.6 percent of fans thought he was their favorite but after “The Decision” was aired, his popularity went down to 9.4 percent.
James has won back-to-back NBA finals, which may have led to his current spike in popularity.