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Which NBA players have gained the most followers during playoffs?

Which NBA players have gained the most followers during playoffs?

The NBA Playoffs are basketball's biggest stage, giving players an opportunity to emerge as a star and become a household name. Many players have won over fans by thriving when the games matter most. These days, performing in the playoffs also translates to an increase in social-media followers.

Which players have gained the most followers since the start of the 2022 NBA Playoffs?

Interestingly, the NBA tracks the follower growth of every player on Instagram, and a league source shared this information with BasketballNews.com. Here are the 10 players who have gained the most followers since the start of the postseason in early April:

PLAYER NEW FOLLOWERS
LeBron James 5.2 million
Stephen Curry 1.4 million
Ja Morant 909,000
Klay Thompson 603,000
Lonzo Ball 598,000
Jayson Tatum 583,000
Russell Westbrook 406,000
Kyrie Irving 392,000
PJ Washington 387,000
Jordan Poole 384,000

Surprisingly, LeBron James has gained the most followers during these playoffs  — despite the fact that his Los Angeles Lakers missed the postseason altogether. This is a testament to James' massive following, which is easily the largest among NBA players. James has 123 million followers on Instagram, and the next most-followed NBA player is Stephen Curry with just 42.7 million.

With that said, Curry has also seen a nice boost during these playoffs, gaining 1.4 million followers over the last two months. Curry is one of three Golden State Warriors on this list along with Klay Thompson (603K) and Jordan Poole (384K), which isn't a surprise given their NBA Finals run. Jayson Tatum (583K) has also added a ton of new followers after leading the Boston Celtics back to the Finals.

Speaking of Poole, his 384,000 new followers represent a 73% growth rate — the highest of any player in the playoffs (with a minimum of 100,000 followers). 

Ja Morant sitting at No. 3 isn't a surprise since he is arguably the breakout star of this postseason. He was already viewed as a special player, but he took his game to another level during the playoffs and won over a ton of new fans with his huge performances and jaw-dropping plays. At one point during this postseason, Morant had generated the most video views of any player across the NBA's social-media platforms, so it makes sense that this excitement led to many new followers too.

The biggest surprises on this list are Russell Westbrook (406,000), Lonzo Ball (598,000) and PJ Washington (387,000). Westbrook has gotten a lot of hate following his 2021-22 season, but he also has some of the most passionate fans in the NBA and he remains very popular. 

The NBA also tracked which teams have gained the most IG followers during the playoffs, so click here for that information.

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