Data released by Twitter ahead of the opening of the 2014-15 NBA season shows that Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James was the most-mentioned player during the offseason.
James's new team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, were the most-mentioned team during the offseason, defined by the period from July 1 to today.
James made headlines when he announced July 11 that he would return to the Cavaliers, his hometown team, after leaving Cleveland for the Miami Heat in 2010. James won two NBA championships with the Heat and made the NBA Finals each season he played for Miami.
New teammate Kevin Love, who the Cavaliers acquired in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves for a package including No. 1 picks Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins, was the fifth-most mentioned player in the offseason.
Indiana Pacers forward Paul George was the second-most mentioned player, but for a more unfortunate reason. George is expected to miss the entire 2014-15 season after breaking his leg in a scrimmage while playing for Team USA ahead of the summer's FIBA World Cup, though he said recently he hopes to play this year.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, making a comeback from his own severe injury after missing most of last year with a fractured knee, was the third-most mentioned player, and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant was fourth.
Bryant's Lakers were the second-most mentioned team, and the Chicago Bulls, who signed former All-Star center Pau Gasol and will see the return of former MVP Derrick Rose, were the third-most mentioned.
James is the most-followed player on Twitter entering the 2014-15 season, while Los Angeles is the most-followed team.
Twitter itself had a significant NBA offseason, as the league announced that its Twitter handle will be printed on all official game balls.
- Ben Estes