America formally shrugged off monarchy back in 1776, but LeBron James is still a king in 2014. The Miami Heat superstar apparently generates fan interest from coast to coast as prodigiously as he generates jaw-dropping highlights. Presumably, King James generates much of that interest because of those highlights. Regardless, a set of interesting maps and charts put together by BestTickets.com offers a glimpse at just how much America is fixated on James.
The maps below use Google search volume data to determine which athlete and sport is the most "popular" in each state. The data used is the monthly average of Google searches from April 2013 through April 2014, according to Andrew Powell-Morse of BestTickets.com. Is "popular" the best word to describe such a status? Or is such constant searching on Google more a sign of obsession than adoration? Either way, James came out on top in more states than any other athlete.
James' staggering tally of 24 states was four times the sum of the closest athlete. Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning picked up six states. NFL stars Tom Brady and Adrian Peterson were next with four states apiece. One-and-done Kansas basketball star Andrew Wiggins was the only other athlete to pick up multiple states, picking up Kansas and Kentucky.
Check out the entire U.S. map below:
James may be the overall search King but the NFL reigns supreme in nearly every state, according to this data.
For more detailed breakdowns of the search query data by individual sport, player and position, head over to BestTickets blog.