The King has arrived in Los Angeles, the offseason is over, and NBA basketball is back in our lives.

Over the offseason, basketball’s top players took to social to build their brands beyond the hardwood. With a following more than double the size of any other player, LeBron James continues to outpace the league in terms of engagement and audience.

The biggest winners, however, may not have been the league’s seasoned vets. Several of the up-and-coming young stars —specifically Kyle Kuzma, Jayson Tatum, and Ben Simmons —  were able to capture momentum from their early on-court success to build strong followings and share their offseason experiences with their audience.

As a whole, the NBA’s most-followed stars outpace their peers in major U.S. sports, including the NFL, in terms of audience size, activity, total engagements, and growth. The players are catching up with and even surpassing their teams’ efforts on social. With nearly 100 million total engagements, LeBron more than doubled the closest performance of the most engaging team, the Golden State Warriors.

Golden State led the league and players in total video views, with LeBron coming in second. He topped the second-place team, his Lakers, in views — 68 million to 45 million — despite sharing just 21 videos to the Lakers’ 486.

While LeBron is an outlier even for NBA players, he illustrates the league’s power on social. 50 of basketball’s top players surpassed one million video views and 66 produced more than one million engagements. The NBA may very well be the most athlete-driven league in American sports, and there’s no slowing down in sight.

The NBA’s athlete-driven MVPs

Below is the performance analysis for the NBA’s 50 most-followed players on social. We break down the data by audience, activity, engagement, and growth on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram from June 8, 2018, to October 16, 2018. These are the NBA’s strongest brands on social.

Audience
  • LeBron James  — 108.2 million followers
  • Stephen Curry  — 43.2 million followers
  • Kevin Durant  — 38.1 million followers
  • Dwayne Wade  — 30.5 million followers
  • Russell Westbrook — 22 million followers
Twitter
  • LeBron James — 41.9 million followers
  • Kevin Durant  — 17.5 million followers
  • Stephen Curry  — 12.9 million followers
  • Carmelo Anthony  — 9.2 million followers
  • Dwyane Wade  — 7.9 million followers

facebook

  • LeBron James  — 23.2 million followers
  • Dwyane Wade  — 11 million followers
  • Derrick Rose  — 10.6 million followers
  • Kevin Durant  — 10.4 million followers
  • Stephen Curry  — 8.2 million followers

instagram

  • LeBron James  — 43.2 million followers
  • Stephen Curry  — 22.2 million followers
  • Kyrie Irving  — 12.2 million followers
  • Dwyane Wade  — 11.6 million followers
  • Russell Westbrook  — 11.3 million followers
Activity
  • Dwyane Wade  — 515 posts
  • Isaiah Thomas  — 364 posts
  • Pau Gasol  — 334 posts
  • Damian Lillard  — 313 posts
  • Serge Ibaka  — 299 posts
Twitter
  • Dwyane Wade  — 324 posts
  • Isaiah Thomas  — 305 posts
  • Damian Lillard  — 192 posts
  • Kyle Kuzma  — 186 posts
  • Pau Gasol  — 177 posts

facebook

  • Pau Gasol  — 117 posts
  • Serge Ibaka  — 115 posts
  • Russell Westbrook  — 67 posts
  • Lonzo Ball  — 65 posts
  • LeBron James  — 62 posts

instagram

  • Dwyane Wade  — 153 posts
  • JR Smith  — 122 posts
  • Damian Lillard  — 108 posts
  • Ben Simmons  —105 posts
  • Serge Ibaka  — 84 posts
Engagement
  • LeBron James  — 99.9 million engagements
  • Stephen Curry  — 41.1 million engagements
  • Dwyane Wade  — 23.9 million engagements
  • Ben Simmons  — 17.3 million engagements
  • Russell Westbrook  — 15 million engagements
Twitter
  • LeBron James  — 5.7 million engagements
  • Kyle Kuzma  — 3.4 million engagements
  • Stephen Curry  — 1.9 million engagements
  • Joel Embiid  — 1.8 million engagements
  • Dwyane Wade  — 1.7 million engagements

facebook

  • LeBron James  — 1.6 million engagements
  • Russell Westbrook  — 510 thousand engagements
  • Klay Thompson  — 441 thousand engagements
  • Stephen Curry  — 174 thousand engagements
  • Paul Gasol  — 169 thousand engagements

instagram

  • LeBron James  — 92.7 million engagements
  • Stephen Curry  — 39 million engagements
  • Dwyane Wade  — 22 million engagements
  • Ben Simmons  — 17.3 million engagements
  • James Harden  — 14.5 million engagements

Engagement Rate

*min 18 posts

  • Jayson Tatum  — 5.29%
  • Kyle Kuzma  — 5.20%
  • Brandon Ingram  — 5.08%
  • Ben Simmons  — 5.03%
  • DeMar DeRozan  — 4.93%
Twitter
  • Brandon Ingram  — 5.90%
  • Kyle Kuzma  — 4.42%
  • Lonzo Ball  — 3.69%
  • Joel Embiid  — 2.61%
  • Jayson Tatum  — 2.41%

facebook

  • Jayson Tatum  — 2.23%
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo  — 1.04%
  • Kyle Kuzma  — .75%
  • Klay Thompson  — .55%
  • Gordon Hayward  — .51%

instagram

  • DeMar DeRozan  — 11.47%
  • Jayson Tatum  — 10.39%
  • Kyle Kuzma  — 9.55%
  • Lonzo Ball  — 6.65%
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo  — 6.62%
Growth
  • LeBron James  — 5 million followers
  • Stephen Curry  — 1.8 million followers
  • Russell Westbrook  — 762 thousand followers
  • Ben Simmons  — 717.9 thousand followers
  • Lonzo Ball  — 662.5 thousand followers
Twitter
  • Stephen Curry  — 213.4 thousand followers
  • Kyle Kuzma  — 126 thousand followers
  • LeBron James  — 103.1 thousand followers
  • Kyrie Irving  — 102.3 thousand followers
  • Joel Embiid  — 102.2 thousand followers

facebook

  • James Harden  — 53.2 thousand fans
  • Kyrie Irving  — 49.4 thousand fans
  • Jayson Tatum  — 31 thousand fans
  • Klay Thompson  — 23.8 thousand fans
  • Kyle Kuzma  — 16.9 thousand fans

instagram

  • LeBron James  — 4.9 million followers
  • Stephen Curry  — 1.6 million followers
  • Russell Westbrook  — 716.4 thousand followers
  • Dwyane Wade  — 668.3 thousand followers
  • Ben Simmons  — 657.6 thousand followers
Growth Rate
  • Kyle Kuzma  — 29.45%
  • Jayson Tatum  — 29.41%
  • Ben Simmons  — 19.43%
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo  — 14.26%
  • Joel Embiid  — 13.60%
Twitter
  • Kyle Kuzma  — 36.03%
  • Jayson Tatum  — 18.14%
  • Brandon Ingram  — 14.21%
  • Karl-Anthony Towns  — 12.82%
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo  — 11.21%

facebook

  • Jayson Tatum  — 35.63%
  • Kyle Kuzma  — 30.12%
  • Joel Embiid  — 5.68%
  • James Harden  — 4.95%
  • Brandon Ingram  — 4.44%

instagram

  • Jayson Tatum  — 55.16%
  • Kyle Kuzma  — 28.01%
  • Ben Simmons  — 23.50%
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo  — 18.09%
  • LeBron James  — 12.70%