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The numbers prove it - Klay Thompson is NBA's most popular player


Based on numbers, basketball fans indeed missed Klay Thompson. His return from injury got massive attention online. Is he the new crowd favorite among NBA superstars?

Record breaking return

Thompson was away for almost two seasons. The last time he played, the NBA was in a different era than now due to player movement. Every time an injured superstar makes his return, it’s a massive event for the fans, but in Klay’s case, 22.3 million tuned in and viewed his introduction to the lineup posted on NBA’s Instagram page. 

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According to Basketball News, Klay’s return was the NBA’s most-viewed regular-season moment ever on social media, generating more than 110 million views on their social media platforms. To top it off,” on NBA TV, the game averaged 844,000 viewers, making it NBA TV’s most-viewed regular-season game since 2016. Locally, NBC Sports Bay Area had a 12.7 household rating for the Warriors-Cavaliers game, which was their highest-rated regular-season game since 2016 as well.

These numbers prove that Klay lit the Instagram world upon his return. Is this why content creators love the 3-time champion?

Why content creators love Klay 

Kyrie Irving also made his return to the game after missing the season due to his vaccination status but didn’t receive the same love the Golden State Warriors player had. The truth is players today are very fortunate to live in the era of social media. The support they receive from fans can be measured based on social media engagement and metrics, which can lead to endorsements and deals from brands. Can you imagine if Instagram existed when Michael Jordan announced his return to the NBA in 1995? It would have broken the internet for sure.

That is not to take away the fact that Thompson is a good player and an even more likable person. He’s funny, weird sometimes, and definitely not your ordinary baller off the court. Klay drives his boat to the games, gives unintentionally funny interviews, and does not mind letting go sometimes. Even in epic fail moments, the guy is still entertaining. 

There’s no formula for how to be popular on social media. People laugh at videos or follow celebrities for different reasons, but here’s Klay’s simple formula: be true to yourself, be a good basketball player, and be funny without even trying. 

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