It marked the third consecutive year that James, who plays for the
Cleveland Cavaliers, topped the list while Curry, who led the Golden
State Warriors to an NBA title last year, shot into second place
World number one tennis players Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams
and former NBA Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma
City Thunder rounded out the top five.
"Steph Curry made the biggest jump on and off the court of any
athlete we've seen, frankly in any statistical analysis," said Rick
Horrow, owner of Horrow Sports Ventures.
"When you look at the count, 24 of the 100 (athletes) are basketball
players and seven are in the top 25, including one and two. So you
have the opportunity to rise to the top of the list if you are a
star basketball player."
The concept for the list was created in 2009. MVPindex joined last
year to provide a social media component. On-field results comprise
50 percent of athletes power ranking while the other half is based
on off-field attributes: primarily social media presence (including
reach, engagement, and conversation).
The list focuses on long-established sports and the U.S. market
specifically with 44 of the 100 spots taken by NFL and NBA players.
Boxers and mixed martial arts fighters are included in the list
while soccer players are omitted as Horrow said it is impossible to
get a fair on-field ranking for them because of overlapping
international federations and national teams.
Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, was the best-ranked
National Hockey League player at number six despite a difficult year
that saw him under investigation by police on rape charges that were
NFL players occupied the next two spots with
Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown at number seven followed
by Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
[to top of second column]
Former world number on golfer Rory McIlroy and James Harden of the
NBA's Houston Rockets closed out the top 10.
The most noticeable trend on the latest list was a strong move by
the NBA into the top 10 combined by a drop-off in NFL players
considering quarterbacks had occupied five of the top 11 spots in
last year's list.
Tiger Woods, once a fixture in the top 10, failed to make the list
after falling steadily from second place two years ago to 76th last
Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant, who will retire at the end of
the current NBA season, also slid further down the list as he
dropped to 84th place compared to 36th place last year.
- For the complete list visit
- For more on sports business, check out our audio podcast Keeping
Score with Rick Horrow (http://blogs.reuters.com/keeping-score/)
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue)
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