Kevin Durant and LeBron James.

Four NBA Finals players make list of ESPN's most famous 100 athletes

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Football News

For the second year, ESPN has released a list of the top 100 most famous athletes in the world.

To determine the rankings, ESPN culled the list of Forbes highest-paid athletes and then used "a variety of domestic and international sources" to make sure no athletes were being overlooked.

Once the pool of candidates was chosen, the athletes were ranked based on a formula that included social media follows, Google searches and endorsements.

Thirteen NBA players made the list, which is second for sports, trailing just soccer (38 players). The NBA number is down from 20 last year.

For the second year, LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers is second on the list, following just Cristiano Ronaldo in global popularity.

Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors is number 8 on the list, down from number 6 when he was with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Teammate Stephen Curry of the Warriors made one of the biggest jumps on the list, up from 34 to number 11.

Maybe the move from the Miami Heat to the Chicago Bulls helped Dwyane Wade, who moved up from 33 to 24.

Chicago Bulls v Boston Celtics - Game Five

James Harden of the Houston Rockets nearly cut his ranking in half, moving up from number 54 all the way to 28.

Derrick Rose of the New York Knicks moved down from 30 to 33, and Kyrie Irving of the Cavs made his debut on the list at 34. Right behind Irving on the list was Russell Westbrook of the Thunder, who moved up from 48th to 35th.

Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks moved down from 29 to 41, as did Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers, who moved from 39 to 51. Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers also moved down the list, falling from 45 to 61. Blake Griffin of the Clippers moved down from 43 to 63.

Dwight Howard of the Rockets checked in at 65 after being ranked 36th last year.


Not on this year's list after being rated last year by ESPN were Kobe Bryant, who was 11th on the list; Jeremy Lin of the Brooklyn Nets, who was 60th; Kevin Love of the Cavs, who was 67th; Chris Bosh of the Heat, who was 68th; Israel pro player Amar'e Stoudemire, who was 79th; Deron Williams of the Cavs, who was 87th; former San Antonio Spurs player Tim Duncan, who was 90th; and Rudy Gay of the Sacramento Kings, who was 91st.

It'll be interesting to see when a new, younger crop of players, such as Isaiah Thomas, Anthony Davis, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Giannis Antetokounmpo make the list.

Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
LeBron James
Dwyane Wade
Miami Heat
Southeast Division
James Harden
Houston Rockets
Southwest Division
Western Conference
Kevin Durant
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division

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