OK, so maybe I was a year premature in proclaiming that theare the best team in basketball.
But the winning their second NBA title in three years by dethroning reigning champs the Cleveland Cavaliers 129-120 on Monday.Dubs redeemed me by
Naturally, Facebook and Twitter erupted as Warriors superstar Kevin Durant, who lit up the internet when he signed with Golden State last summer, took command of this year’s NBA Finals to become the series MVP.
In fact, Durant was mentioned more than 1 million times on Twitter during the series-clinching Game 5 win Monday night.
Tens of millions flocked to social media in anticipation of this year’s NBA Finals, the third straight year the Warriors and the Cavaliers fought for the championship. And it’s no accident. Prior to the Game 1 tipoff, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said has “done lots of experiments” with social media to show fans another side of the game — and plans to do even more.
The NBA gets it with that strategy, said Aaron Goldman, chief marketing officer with 4C Insights, a Chicago social-data-tracking company.
“NBA players have just larger personalities, compared to those in the other major sports and that plays well on social media, for better or for worse,” he said. “The league has always highlighted its players and the teams.”
On Facebook, 38 million users had more than 209 million NBA-related interactions. Among the top moments were the final seconds of the Warriors winning the title, as well as Durant’s clutch pull-up three-pointer with 45 seconds left in Game 3 that gave the Warriors a 118-113 win and a then-commanding 3-0 lead in the series.
And, who can forget Warriors star Stephen Curry’s head-shaking dribbling display against Cavs’ star LeBron James that spearheaded a 132-113 Golden State victory in Game 2. But, Facebook says the most “Wow’d” post was James’ outta nowhere self alley-oop off the backboard in Game 4. The play was liked more than 2.8 million times.
James, who also became the first player to average a triple-double in NBA Finals history, was also the most-talked about player during the series on Facebook. He was followed by Curry, who took to Facebook after winning Monday following a , and Durant.
Facebook-owned Instagram also had big numbers. About 32 million users had about 242 million NBA Finals interactions. Among the most-liked videos included global soccer star Neymar giving Warriors All-Stars Durant and Draymond Green FC Barcelona jerseys after Game 2.
Meanwhile on Twitter, James, Durant and Curry were among the top names mentioned on the social network. Here’s a tweet from San Jose Mercury News writer Anthony Slater capturing Durant with Warriors fans while trying to leave Oracle Arena:
4C Insights Goldman believes even though this year’s Finals only went five games compared to seven a year ago, basketball fans used social media unlike ever before.
“When the final numbers come in, we’ll probably see that this was the most socially engaged NBA Finals ever,” he said.
First published June 13 at 10:18 a.m. PT.
Update, 12:30 p.m.: Adds figures from Instagram.
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