The NBA Finals beginning Thursday feature three of the 11 most famous athletes on the planet.
That's according to a comprehensive ESPN ranking released Tuesday, anyway. The ESPN World Fame 100 rankings include LeBron James at No. 2, Kevin Durant at No. 8 and Stephen Curry at No. 11.
The sports network notes that its director of analytics, Ben Alamar, compiled the second-annual rankings using a formula that includes such variables as endorsements, social media followers and Internet search popularity.
Using that formula, ESPN determined that the most famous athlete in the world is … Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo. Golf and tennis stars fared quite well on the list, with Roger Federer (No. 4), Phil Mickelson (No. 5), Rafael Nadal (No. 9) and Tiger Woods (No. 10) all cracking the top 10.
Soccer stars Lionel Messi (No. 3) and Neymar (No. 6), along with Jamaican speedster Usain Bolt (No. 7) round out the top 10.
Among the four major North American pro sports leagues, the NBA led the way, placing 13 players on the list. On the other hand, Major League Baseball fared poorly, with no players among the top 100. Tom Brady (No. 21) was the highest ranked of eight NFL players on the list.
Eight female athletes made the list, headed by Ronda Rousey at No. 16.
The ESPN list may not settle any arguments about the GOAT, but it's sure to spark some debate.
Source : http://www.sportingnews.com/nba/news/espn-top-100-most-famous-athletes-lebron-james-cristiano-ronaldo-lionel-messi/1jgp6jzolqytv153gby5nxnjcz