Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) drives against Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson

(David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)

Surprising No. 1 on List of Top-10 Athletes in Google Searches in 2018

December 14, 2018 - 10:41 am
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By Jonathan Lehman, Radio.com

The most Google-searched athlete of 2018 in the United States is a Cleveland Cavaliers forward with a global reputation.

And it's not LeBron James.

Tristan Thompson, better known for his roller-coaster tabloid romance with reality star Khloe Kardashian than for scoring 5.8 points per game last season a bench player, was No. 1 on the at-times surprising list published by the search giant.

No LeBron. No Tiger Woods. No Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Guess when you're a certain kind of famous, a Google search is moot.

In an Olympic year, a pair of crossover American stars -- snowboarder Shaun White and skier Lindsey Vonn -- ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.

Neither of the top two NFL stars on the list have played in a single game this season: Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (No. 4), who had a prolonged contract holdout, and former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (No. 6), who was injured before he could get on the field for the New Orleans Saints after belatedly signing in early November. Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback Nick Foles, who led the team to an unlikely Super Bowl title in February, came in at No. 7.

Mercurial NBA star Kawhi Leonard, traded over the summer from the San Antonio Spurs to the Toronto Raptors, ranked No. 5 in Google's list of searches. Teenaged Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim, underdog U.S. Open tennis champion Naomi Osaka, and retired figure skater turned broadcaster Johnny Weir rounded out the top 10.