Lakers news: LeBron James 2nd on ESPN's list of world's most famous athletes
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Lakers star LeBron James second on ESPN’s list of world’s most famous athletes

LeBron James, Lakers

Based on internet searches, endorsements, and social media followings, Los Angeles Lakers superstar small forward LeBron James is the second-most famous athlete in the world, according to data collected by ESPN.

James is second behind soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo.

LeBron James is universally recognized as the best player in the NBA. The King has 45.3 million followers on social media and makes around $52 million a year in endorsements.

The Lakers are going to miss the playoffs this season, but it’s not affecting people’s interest in LeBron.

James regained his popularity around the league back in the summer of 2014 when he went back to the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron was the villain of the NBA for four years when he was playing with the Miami Heat.

James and the Cavs won the 2016 championship over the Golden State Warriors, becoming the first team in NBA history to erase a 3-1 series deficit in the Finals. LeBron was named Finals MVP.

In his first season with the Lakers, James is averaging 27.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game. The four-time league MVP and three-time NBA champion is shooting 51.7 percent from the field, 34.6 percent from beyond the arc and 65.8 percent from the free-throw line.

James signed a four-year deal with the Lakers last summer.