While Grizzlies fans have long griped that they don’t get any respect from the national media, that tune could be changing with the emergence of the human highlight reel — Ja Morant.
One user on Reddit, u/aquavoss, took a chunk of their quarantine time to perform some data mining and analysis on the social media activity of the sports media company Bleacher Report.
This picture below was posted in the Grizzlies subreddit and I found it interesting and wanted to share with you. The goal of the researcher’s deep dive was to find out if Bleacher Report favors certain players or teams in their posts. I think we all know that it’s a good business strategy to appeal to the larger markets where there are more fans, eyeballs, and revenue. I got it. However, sometimes it feels like that gets taken to the extreme with guys like Alex Caruso being showcased in posts on a weekly basis. This type of promotion leads to fans making ridiculous choices like casting All-Star ballot votes for Tacko Fall.
Not all fans have time to think about hoops 24/7 and keep up with teams outside of their market. These fans can be led astray with the media over-blowing completely average players.
What u/aquavoss discovered, was that even though the Lakers with LeBron James still dominated their social media activity, smaller market teams can still be encouraged by the rest of the list of teams/players receiving some love. Of course, this is the case only if you have an exciting young player on your roster who can garner likes on social media.
The rules and results of this investigation can be found in the image below.
I am impressed at the amount of dedication and thoughtfulness that went into this analysis. The results at the top of the graph come as no surprise. The Lakers are the golden (and purple) darlings of social media, especially since they have the best player of our generation on their roster. Going down the list of teams, seeing the Trailblazers and Grizzlies sitting at 6th and 7th respectively was not what I would have anticipated. Ja Morant appears very high in the player post rankings, coming in at 7th. His flashy passes and litany of posterizing near-dunks has given him clout in the sports social media space. He even beat out fellow rookie and media darling Zion Williamson.
Though he is incredibly young, Ja Morant is the on-court leader of a young and flashy Grizzlies core that could buck the trend of small market teams flying under the radar. Because flying is one thing we know he can do.