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LeBron James, Kobe Bryant rank among 2013's most retweeted sports tweets

LeBron James (left) and Kobe Bryant (right) were among the most retweeted athletes of 2013. (Sun Sentinel/Getty Images)

(Sun Sentinel/Getty Images)

Twitter announced this week that four of the social networking site's top 10 most shared sports tweets of 2013 were posted by NBA players. 

Heat forward LeBron James, Knicks guard J.R. Smith and Lakers guard Kobe Bryant all appeared on Twitter's top 10 "retweeted sports tweets" list, which also included messages from a soccer player, United States Soccer, a college basketball player and an NFL player. A "retweet" is a way for Twitter users to share someone else's content to their followers.

James, the NBA's reigning MVP, had the NBA's most retweeted message of the year back in February when he responded to ongoing comparisons with Michael Jordan.

"I'm not MJ, I'm LJ," James wrote. That simple declaration has been retweeted more than 76,000 times, ranking fourth among all sports tweets. James would later discuss his Michael Jordan moment during the 2013 Finals in a Sports Illustrated cover story.

Smith followed one spot behind James for a trash-talking reply to then-Nets forward Kris Humphries, who talked a little smack about Brooklyn getting a win against New York at Madison Square Garden.

"Big game tonight! The Garden got really quiet on the way out," Humphries wrote. Smith replied: "Wasn't quiet when Kanye tore it down last month!"

Humphries divorced reality television star Kim Kardashian after a 72-day marriage; Kardashian is now engaged to West, a popular rapper and producer. Smith's quip produced more than 62,000 retweets.

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A late-arriver to Twitter, Bryant was the only NBA player to appear twice on the list. His first tweet -- "The antisocial has become social #mambatweets" produced more than 50,000 retweets, ranking eighth on the list. His most popular tweet, though, was a jab at Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who had wondered aloud whether the Lakers should use the amnesty clause on Bryant's league-leading salary in response to new luxury tax rules put in place by the league's Collective Bargaining Agreement.

After scoring a game-high 38 points in a 103-99 Lakers victory over the Mavericks in February, Bryant got off a quick one-liner on Twitter.

"Amnesty THAT," he wrote, drawing more than 54,000 retweets, which ranked No. 7 on Twitter's most retweeted sports tweets list.

The most retweeted sports tweet of 2013? Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, who drew more than 99,000 retweets, for expressing gratitude to longtime Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson upon his retirement.

Most Retweeted Sports Tweets In 2013

No. 4: LeBron James, Miami Heat

No. 5, J.R. Smith, New York Knicks

No. 7: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

No. 8: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers