Journal of Athletic EnhancementISSN: 2324-9080

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Who is the GOAT: Jordan, Bryant, or King James? An Inference Based on Data Crunching of the Surface Web

Objectives: Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant or LeBron James; each one of those top athletes is undoubtedly considered to be the best of his own basketball era. However, many professional athletes and sports critics still do consider Michael Jeffery Jordan to be the greatest basketball player of all time. The purpose of this study derive a statistical inference based on data derived from the surface web in relation to the most popular basketball player, the GOAT.

Materials and methods: This study is based on data crunching of; Google Trends database (1) and the surface web (2), literature databases (3), grey literature (4), sports websites (5), in addition to media networks (5). An internet snapshot was taken for the trends database with a subsequent retrospective analysis of data retrieved from the past five years (2012-2017).

Results: There was sharp (acute and intermittent) rise in the attentiveness of web users towards each of the three players. However, those were more noticeable for LeBron James. These were correlated with milestone events for each athlete career including; Kobe Bryant final NBA game, and LeBron opting out from his contract with Miami Heat. There was a significant difference in between LeBron’s popularity over both Jordan and Bryant (p-value<0.001). Furthermore, geo-mapping of data revealed that the top countries of highest attentiveness were; the Philippines, Dominican Republic, US, Canada and Hong Kong.

Conclusion: For the past half-decade, it seems that the attentiveness of surface web users was more focused towards LeBron James than to either of Kobe Bryant or Michaela Jordan. Accordingly, LeBron is the GOAT since 2012. However, the data analysis did not go back in time prior to 2012, in which it is expected that the relative popularity of the three competitive players might be different.

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