ESPN has named Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers the 51st most famous athlete in the world, according to their “proprietary formula that took into account three fame factors.”
The top of the list was dominated by soccer stars, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar ranking first, third, and fourth, respectively. The only NBA players in the top eight were LeBron James at number two and Kevin Durant at number seven.
Lillard, who ranked 61st last year in the same category, ranked ahead of fellow NBA players such as Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and Isaiah Thomas. Lillard has received recognition in recent years not only for his on-court performance, but his signature “Dame” line of Adidas shoes and am emerging rap career that has seen him release two full-length albums. Lillard has also been featured in several national commercials for brands such as State Farm and Foot Locker.
As a reflection of his still-growing popularity, Lillard had the 13th highest-selling jersey in the NBA for the 2017-18 season.