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View Full Version : Kobe Bryant is no longer America’s most popular athlete



Ill21
07-17-2011, 12:23 PM
Every year, Harris Interactive conducts a poll to list America's most popular sports stars. While popularity can be a fungible concept, the results remain somewhat instructive, especially in terms of which players have reached a level of fame beyond their sport's diehard audience.

Last season, Kobe Bryant(notes) found himself at the top of the list of male stars. Now, he's dropped to No. 3 in a tie with Michael Jordan, and behind Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and new champ Derek Jeter of the Yankees. From Janis Carr on OCRegister.com:

Kobe Bryant no longer is the favorite athlete in America, according to a Harris poll, having slipped to No. 3 in 2011. But that's nothing compared to the free fall for LeBron James(notes).

James, who was rated the No. 6 overall favorite athlete in 2010, didn't make the top 10 list this year after leaving Cleveland for Miami's South Beach. He shouldn't feel too badly, though. Brett Farve (No. 4) New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees (No. 9) and NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 10) also were left off the list this year. [...]

According to the poll, Bryant remains the top athlete among Hispanics and African-Americans and on the West Coast.
You can access the poll directly here if you have concerns about methodology. While Jeter is the new champ, Serena Williams is listed as the most popular female athlete for the third year in a row. Better luck next time, Abby Wambach.

It's not a surprise to learn that Bryant and James have dropped on this list, because popularity in America is often tied to winning at the highest levels. In the past, both players have been divisive, to the point where they've only been considered likable when they win championships. With the Lakers losing to the Mavericks in the second round of the playoffs, Bryant is no longer the league's golden god. James, obviously, is largely seen as a bratty loser. As such, they're no longer at the top of this vaguely scientific heap.
Maybe next year they'll see their fortunes change. Or, perhaps, Derrick Rose(notes) (No. 9 this year) will move higher after another long playoff run. Worse yet, maybe there won't be an NBA season and the poll participants won't name anyone from the league. And then this post will end up on Shutdown Corner, and you can substitute Tom Brady in for Bryant and read the same post. The world works in mysterious ways.

Here's the complete Top 10:

Male
1. Derek Jeter
2. Peyton Manning
3. (tie) Kobe Bryant
3. (tie) Michael Jordan
5. Tiger Woods
6. Tom Brady
7. (tie) Albert Pujols
7. (tie) Hines Ward
9. Derrick Rose
10. Aaron Rodgers

Female
1. Serena Williams
2. Venus Williams
3. Danica Patrick
4. Maria Sharapova
5. Mia Hamm
6. Anna Kournikova
7. (tie) Martina Navratilova
7. (tie) Sue Bird
9. (tie) Kerry Walsh
9. (tie) Michele Wie

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Kobe-Bryant-is-no-longer-America-8217-s-most-po?urn=nba-wp6485

Ill21
07-17-2011, 12:24 PM
Kinda surprised LeBron isnt on there. I didnt think that many people hated him lol

Avenged
07-17-2011, 12:38 PM
I wonder how it would be if you do this poll internationally?

Peyton Manning wouldn't round up the top 5.

KnicksR4Real
07-17-2011, 12:43 PM
Hines ward?

GunFactor187
07-17-2011, 12:48 PM
Nice to see Derrick Rose on there.

Swashcuff
07-17-2011, 12:51 PM
I wonder how it would be if you do this poll internationally?

Peyton Manning wouldn't round up the top 5.

I am willing to bet that if it was international that no American Football player would be in the top 10. I would believe that internationally Kobe is unquestionably the most popular.

YoungOne
07-17-2011, 01:14 PM
internationally there would mostly be soccer players..

Ill21
07-17-2011, 01:28 PM
Hines ward?

That was my reaction too. You would think it would be Drew Brees or Adrian Peterson

Sly Guy
07-17-2011, 01:30 PM
Hines ward?


dancin with the stars, I guess. LOL.

Ill21
07-17-2011, 01:32 PM
I wonder how it would be if you do this poll internationally?

Peyton Manning wouldn't round up the top 5.

I dont think any NFL player would crack the top10 if it was internationally

Lake_Show2416
07-17-2011, 01:34 PM
Hines ward?

it could b the pub from dancing with the stars, but still a bit of a surprise

Avenged
07-17-2011, 01:35 PM
I am willing to bet that if it was international that no American Football player would be in the top 10. I would believe that internationally Kobe is unquestionably the most popular.

Oh, I know. I was going to say top 10 but I didn't want to offend the football fans.

GREATNESS ONE
07-17-2011, 01:36 PM
Internationally, it wouldn't be all soccer players but just some of the best. I would say like Messi, Ronaldo would almost for sure be on that list, also I think Manny PacMan Pacquiao would probably be on their as well.



@Thread, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Why Why Why !!!! Now my whole day is ruined:rolleyes:

Becks2307
07-17-2011, 01:45 PM
i doubt any nfl player would be in the top 20 tbh

Sportfan
07-17-2011, 01:59 PM
Woods Donavon etc would be higher up internationally

NYKalltheway
07-17-2011, 03:58 PM
I wonder how it would be if you do this poll internationally?

Peyton Manning wouldn't round up the top 5.

Who is he? :laugh:
And I only know Jeter from Seinfeld which wasn't very popular in Europe at least, while baseball is an unknown sport overseas.

I'd assume that in terms of American athletes:

1) Michael Jordan (though retired)
-
-
-
-
-
-
2) Kobe Bryant
3) Tiger Woods (nobody realizes why people know him :p all people know is that he's a rich mofo :D )
4) Lebron James

If Michael Jordan counts as an athlete, then at #4 insert someone like Larry Bird or Magic Johnson ;)

Rose, Howard, Melo, Amare, Durant, Wade(perhaps most popular of the lot followed by Melo), Paul, Deron, Duncan etc are not very well known in the rest of the world, just among NBA fans which isn't a huge number anymore.

As for females, the rest of the world considers Kournikova and Sharapova as Russian, not American... Different standards for being considered from one country. Plus they're listed as Russians.
I'd say the Williams sisters and Marion Jones (if we count Jordan we gotta count her as #1 coz she is...)

MJ-BULLS
07-17-2011, 04:25 PM
Nice to see rose on the list.

Howard should be in it.

AB1984
07-17-2011, 04:26 PM
Kinda surprised LeBron isnt on there. I didnt think that many people hated him lol

Congrats on waking up from your year long coma. And just to update you LeBron now plays for the Heat and everybody hates him.

championships
07-17-2011, 04:44 PM
Top 3 is still pretty damn good.

tsb77
07-17-2011, 05:03 PM
Wow, as a Boston fan, tough to see literally my 3 most hated athletes top 3

Hellcrooner
07-17-2011, 05:09 PM
I wonder how it would be if you do this poll internationally?

Peyton Manning wouldn't round up the top 5.

if it would be an international question Ming makes teh top 10, bryant probably too and thats the end of nba players ( active) the rest woudl be Soccer players and F1 Racers and tiger.

_KB24_
07-17-2011, 05:33 PM
:laugh2:

Poll was conducted with less than 2500 voting adults...yup, very indicative of our sporting nation :laugh2:

naps
07-17-2011, 05:33 PM
Internationally, No American athlete would be in top 10 (Michael Jordan has an outside shot). It'll be mostly soccer players, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and may be Sachin Tendulkar.

PZeef
07-17-2011, 05:38 PM
Internationally, No American athlete would be in top 10 (Michael Jordan has an outside shot). It'll be mostly soccer players, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and may be Sachin Tendulkar.

12 years ago Jordan was probably a top 3 most popular athlete in the world. I do think if the poll was most popular/famous players EVER, Jordan would be in the top 10.

BkOriginalOne
07-17-2011, 05:38 PM
jeter just hit 3,000 so that makes sense.

bmd1101
07-17-2011, 06:34 PM
:laugh2:

Poll was conducted with less than 2500 voting adults...yup, very indicative of our sporting nation :laugh2:

Actually it's probably quite accurate, within +/- 5% I would guess, and to you people wondering about Hines Ward, I dont think ya'll realize how popular DWTS is, http://blog.pennlive.com/go/2011/05/dancing_with_the_stars_crowns.html 22.5 million viewers second to only American Idol. What this does is expose him to a large viewership, many of which don't watch much sports according to the demos voting for him on top of sports fans voting for him.

I don't think many people here got past applied math in high school ^^

LA_Raiders
07-17-2011, 08:05 PM
He is stil the best NBA player

Bigbadmoffo
07-17-2011, 08:19 PM
Can't believe ther's no ufc guys on the list!!

MTar786
07-19-2011, 07:23 AM
internationally it would either be kobe or tiger woods as most popular american athlete

MTar786
07-19-2011, 07:28 AM
12 years ago Jordan was probably a top 3 most popular athlete in the world. I do think if the poll was most popular/famous players EVER, Jordan would be in the top 10.

lol.. no way. jordan in 1999 had no chance at being top 3 in the world.. maybe top 8.
im sure in 1996 or after space jam came out he was top 5 in the world that one year. in 99 there was..

david beckham
zenedine zidane
tiger woods
some tennis players
ronaldo
mike tyson
etc etc

to be honest with you.. i think that wrestler guy stone cold would have been there too in 1999

synister281
07-19-2011, 07:31 AM
Good list, the Hines Ward one has got me confused... I have never once mentioned that guys name in conversation like every other player on that list lol

MTar786
07-19-2011, 07:35 AM
Who is he? :laugh:
And I only know Jeter from Seinfeld which wasn't very popular in Europe at least, while baseball is an unknown sport overseas.

I'd assume that in terms of American athletes:

1) Michael Jordan (though retired)
-
-
-
-
-
-
2) Kobe Bryant
3) Tiger Woods (nobody realizes why people know him :p all people know is that he's a rich mofo :D )
4) Lebron James

If Michael Jordan counts as an athlete, then at #4 insert someone like Larry Bird or Magic Johnson ;)

Rose, Howard, Melo, Amare, Durant, Wade(perhaps most popular of the lot followed by Melo), Paul, Deron, Duncan etc are not very well known in the rest of the world, just among NBA fans which isn't a huge number anymore.

As for females, the rest of the world considers Kournikova and Sharapova as Russian, not American... Different standards for being considered from one country. Plus they're listed as Russians.
I'd say the Williams sisters and Marion Jones (if we count Jordan we gotta count her as #1 coz she is...)

i have spent time in many countries and top name all time nba players are

1.michael jordan
2.shaq (from his orlando days)
3.kobe (now)
4.patrick ewing (no joke)
5.lebron james
6.Magic johnson
6.lamar odom (soley because of the kardashians)


no one else is really known in the nba

PennyMy#1
07-19-2011, 08:21 AM
Interesting !

I think about 75% if not more of the names in BOTH lists would'nt even be Top30 if you would make that poll in Europe ;)
Intersting how different the sports recognition still is in days of TV, Internet and all that stuff.

SKINZ1017
07-19-2011, 09:43 AM
Rose!

LongIslandIcedZ
07-19-2011, 10:07 AM
#dj3k

NYKalltheway
07-19-2011, 10:29 AM
i have spent time in many countries and top name all time nba players are

1.michael jordan
2.shaq (from his orlando days)
3.kobe (now)
4.patrick ewing (no joke)
5.lebron james
6.Magic johnson
6.lamar odom (soley because of the kardashians)


no one else is really known in the nba

depends where you go.. Some people don't even know the Kardashians(or that there's more than 1)

I'd say Larry Bird still gets recognition, Dominique Wilkins is very popular over here because he played in Europe twice and was very effective while he was amongst the top guns of the NBA in his prime and you can assume Sabonis, Nowitzki, Divac and Radja from the NBA from international players. Also the most popular guy after Michael Jordan in Europe at least, was Hakeem Olajuwon, not Shaq. Hakeem was always in Kelloggs' commercials, the Rockets games were most popular than Magic/Lakers games during Shaq's early time there and Shaq only became famous after Jordan retired officially and Hakeem declined which was around 1999-2000. Shazam did not make Shaq famous, but he was a top 5 guy anyway. When I say 'famous' I mean top 1-3 material!

If you wanna go all sports (including "sports" like WWE and racing)

You can add the Undertaker, The Rock, Hogan(most popular along with the Rock imo), Rey Mysterio, Michael Schumacher(F1), Mika Hakkinen, Ayrton Senna, Valentino Rossi(MotoGP), Tiger Woods(he's always on news but nobody really cares about golf, it's just a matter of knowing him) etc...
Then we got the soccer stars and legends like Pele, Maradona, Cruyff, Beckenbauer, Ronaldo, Zico, Zidane, Del Piero, Vieri, Raul, Beckham, Henry and newer guys like Ibrahimovic, Messi, Xavi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Eto'o etc



American sports like NFL and MLB have no where as near global stars as the NBA. Nobody even watches those sports in the rest of the world. While WWE is/was unique and very popular, Formula 1, Moto GP, NBA(and basketball in general), soccer are by far more popular globally than those two American sports.

You go anywhere and tell them that a guy called Derek Jeter is a legend and you'll have this in front of you -> :confused: More people would know someone like Grant Hill (who was really popular at some point for some reason, don't ask why)

THE GIPPER
07-19-2011, 11:13 AM
He is stil the best NBA player

Best at what exactly?

RLundi
07-19-2011, 11:16 AM
Don't other polls claim he's also one of the most hated athletes??

How does that work out- either you love him or you hate him?

Stupid 'polls.' I put absolutely no stock in them.

RaiderLakersA's
07-19-2011, 04:17 PM
Wonder when this poll was taken. I'm pretty sure Hines dropped off the list after his DUI. And Jeter becoming Mr. 3000 will probably drop out of the top 5 after the hoopla tails off.

naps
07-19-2011, 06:37 PM
Don't other polls claim he's also one of the most hated athletes??

How does that work out- either you love him or you hate him?

Stupid 'polls.' I put absolutely no stock in them.

THIS^^. That's why I don't care much about them either. And the fact is this poll had only 2500 people makes it even laughable, these people can't represent a country like USA. Too small sample size.

A little offtopic: Michael Jackson is/was probably the most famous/popular American ever. He was the greatest global icon.

Klivlend
07-19-2011, 07:03 PM
Derek effing Jeter, no way. I didn't think people liked him outside of NY. What a douche canoe.

gilly
07-19-2011, 10:23 PM
I am willing to bet that if it was international that no American Football player would be in the top 10. I would believe that internationally Kobe is unquestionably the most popular.

Over all sports? No chance in hell, David Beckham or Lionel Messi have that on lock.