Whoever said nice guys finish last? In fact, if you’re an all-around nice guy and 3x NBA champion Steph Curry, you finish first. The Golden State Warriors guard was the first to be unanimously voted as MVP in 2015, and now he holds the honor of being the No. 1 trolled NBA player on Twitter, according to a data study by TopRatedCasinos.co.uk.
The online casino comparison site carried out the project with the help of analytics company SEMrush by aggregating approximately 3,000 tweets sent to NBA players between October 2020 through January 2021. Then those messages were analyzed for the use of positive, negative, or neutral words. The frequencies of emoji use and type were also tracked.
Curry earned the curious award with 27.9% of the tweets directed at him packing some serious hate. Rounding out the top five players with the most negative tweets (in order) were the Wizards’ Russell Westbrook (24.6%), 76ers big man Joel Embiid (22.3%), Lakers champion LeBron James (22.1%), and master troll himself Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets (21.7%).
Oddly enough, though, the same study found that Curry also received the second most positive tweets from fans (47.5%), while James and Pistons forward Blake Griffin ended up tied for third place (46.7%). And Portland Trailblazers forward Carmelo Anthony had the fifth most positive tweets during the period (46.1%). So who was the player that the fans showered with the most positive tweets? The appropriately named Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, with a resounding 53.3%!
The study then put a slight twist on the query and asked which players actually received the least amount of negative tweets. Curry’s teammate and injured small forward Klay Thompson was atop that list, with only 14.6% of the tweets he received found to be negative. Veteran guards Jamal Crawford (15.7%) and Chris Paul (16.4%) had the second and third-fewest negative tweets, respectively. And lastly, Isaiah “The Little Guy” Thomas and James’ teammate Anthony Davis (16.9%) tied for having the fifth lowest number of haters come their way.
So if the study revealed anything, it’s that nobody in the NBA is immune from getting some good online hate. And, as fun as the theoretical exercise was, we should probably how the internet trolls really unleash on these guys come playoff time. Take it all with a grain of salt.