The Dallas Mavericks won the most important prize in the basketball, winning the NBA Finals four games to two over the loathsome Miami Heat. From a social media perspective, however, the Heat swept every game, earning more mentions and comments and winning the so-called social score of the series.
Social TV site Social Guide compiled the data on the games to see what team and which players were more talked about. The social score is tallied by the number of times the name of a team, a player, or a twitter handle is used within a social network. It is meant to inform which team and which players are getting the most attention; a tweet for example, that mentions both teams is disregarded. Based on this method, the Miami Heat won the social score each and every time, meaning that more people were talking about the Heat than the Mavs.
The scores were not particularly close either. Social TV comments are determined by a comment someone makes while watching the event on television. While comments and attention placed on the game gained steadily after a Game Two drop off, the Heat continued to be more social than the Mavs. In Game Six, with Dallas on the verge of winning, the Heat had nearly 100,000 more comments during the on-air telecast of the game.
Lebron James, the most popular and polarizing player in the NBA this year, was not surprisingly among the most talked about topics in the Twittersphere. James achieved over 915,000 comments, the most of any trend, and the second most number of unique comments at 328,000, just behind “Mavs.”
Bosh and Heat were the third and fourth most trended phrases on according to Social Guide, with Miami players Mario Chalmers and Dwayne Wade getting attention as well. The only Dallas player to trend in the top ten was not star Dirk Nowitski or veteran Jason Kidd, but instead J.J. Barea.
Game Six, the deciding game in Miami that saw Dallas win the third staraight game in the series and the NBA Championship, was, as should be expected, the most social game in the series. Over 1.1 million comments were registered about the game, with over 425,000 unique ‘commentors’, as they are dubbed.
The results should not be at all surprising, as this NBA season and these playoffs in particularly have been the most compelling and entertaining in some time, and the main reason is due to Lebron James. The Heat won the social score, but a look at the myriad comments would likely show that most of them, though mentioning James and the Heat, were negative towards the Miami club. Animosity towards James and the Heat began before the start of the season, and continued throughout, with a majority of fans not specifically rooting for the Dallas Mavericks, but simply against Miami.
There is no reason this trend won’t continue next year. People will still be rooting against Lebron James and his teammates, but he will always be the most talked about player. The NBA is the most followed sport through social networking, earning the most ‘likes’ on Facebook and having the most followers on Twitters. For whatever reason, NBA fans take to social media far more than the NFL, which is the more popular sport. Next year will be the second season of the Miami Heat drama, the most loathsome and derided team in the NBA, with Lebron James the man everyone now loves to hate.