LeBron James has most fake Instagram followers among celebrity athletes â study
All-Star captain LeBron James chose Los Angeles Lakers teammate Anthony Davis as his first pick in the All-Star draft.
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LeBron James has most fake Instagram followers among celebrity athletes — study

Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - April 7, 2020 - 4:41pm

MANILA, Philippines — Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has more fake followers on Instagram than any other athlete today, new data found

According to client data from sports bettors resource OnlineGambling.com, the basketball superstar has over 15.2 million fake followers — good for a quarter of his total 61.6 million  followers on Instagram. 

Following James in the list are Golden State guard Stephen Curry and James' former Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade, with 6.2 million (20.9%) and 3.8 million (23.8%) fake followers, respectively. 

Fellow NBA superstar Kevin Durant, on the other hand, reportedly has the highest proportion of real followers with just 2.2 million (19.5%) fake followers.

"Some people will buy followers, which are often bots anyway, just to boost numbers. Whilst these bots can be threatening to the average user – they can steal your data and hack your account – for the big ballers out there they just serve as empty numbers, upping your online fanbase," Online Gambling wrote in its report. 

Hoopers Russell Westbrook (3.4 million), Kyrie Irving (2.9 million), Chris Paul (2.4 million), Paul George (2.1 million), Lonzo Ball (1.8 million) and Klay Thompson (1.7 million) rounded out the top ten in the list. 

Client data also found the most athletes with fake followers in other sports, which included: 

  • NFL: Odell Beckham Jr has 2.7million fake followers on Instagram
  • EPL: Paul Pogba has 8.1million fake followers on Instagram
  • NHL: Alex Ovechkin has 226k fake followers on Instagram
  • MLB: David Ortiz has 390.2L fake followers on Instagram

A separate market study by Online Gambling found that James also earns $300,850 per sponsored post, making him the highest earning NBA player through Instagram. 

James, who is on his 17th season in the NBA, averages 26 points, 8 boards and 11 assists per game on 50%, 35% and 70% shooting.

But the excellent season he was putting in will have to wait as the NBA will have to reckon with the threat of the novel coronavirus.

"Man we cancelling sporting events, school, office work. What we really need to cancel is 2020! Damn it’s been a rough 3 months. God bless and stay safe," he tweeted in early March. 

The United Nations has warned the international community that the "whole of humanity" was put at risk by the novel coronavirus, saying millions could die if collective action was not taken. 

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