The stars of the sports world have been magnified as finely as possible, for better or worse. Carmelo Anthony donning a snug hoodie during off-season workouts would generate a meme whose legend would grow to about the size of Melo's own, while LaVar Ball's, UCLA basketball prospect Lonzo Ball's father, grandiose marketing tactics made him about as popular as his prodigal son. All the while, Conor McGregor agreeing to box Floyd Mayweather Jr. created a nearly year-long saga that dominated the sports media cycle on a daily basis.
Google has released its annual "Year in Search" report for 2017. What follows are the 10 athletes that people searched for the most in a year when sports media was as heavily trafficked as ever.
Thomas was one of two centerpieces behind the blockbuster trade of the NBA season. In a deal like something out of a video game, the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zicic, and two draft picks in exchange for superstar guard Kyrie Irving.
Though he has yet to play his first game as a Cav due to a nagging hip injury, LeBron and Co. plan on integrating him into the offense seamlessly when the 28-year-old returns around late December.
Garcia earned the right to slip on the Green Jacket after winning his first major in The Masters. The tournament went to a thrilling playoff hole, which Garcia won. He got married later in the year, and is expecting his first child in 2018.
Instagram nearly exploded when footage surfaced of then-free agent Anthony training during the off-season. The videos showed him running the floor in an empty gym, draining mid-range jumpers, layups, and cutting beautifully. Other videos showed him balling out in pickup games. The whole time he was hidden in a hoodie, pulled tight around the imposing forward's head—and thus, the "Hoodie Melo" legend was born.
The meme followed him all the way to the beginning of the NBA regular season. He left New York for the Oklahoma City Thunder, and in the first photos of him in his new uni you know he rocked the hoodie.
Ball was drafted second overall in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers after a one-and-done season at UCLA.
But before he could gain any traction as a basketball player, he, with the help of his father, LaVar, was quickly thrust into the spotlight.
LaVar, parlaying the success of his son, became a media mogul, selling $450 Big Baller Brand sneakers and becoming infamous for his outspoken attitude.
Whether Lonzo can last in the NBA is one question, but how far the media circus surrounding the otherwise timid guard and his father will go is another question entirely.
Judge was one of the main drivers not only of Internet traffic but of the New York Yankees' unexpectedly deep postseason run. The 2017 American League Rookie of the Year hit 52 home runs, breaking Mark McGwire's 1987 rookie record of 49.
His increasingly elite status in the middle of the batting order drove the Yankees to designate a section of the outfield seats as the Judge's Chambers.
His unexpected rise to prominence in New York was a big reason why he became so sought-after on Google.
Despite his retirement from pro football, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has furthered his household name by taking his talents to the broadcast booth.
CBS daringly slotted the newly minted color man into the primetime slot, and he did not disappoint. Romo's ability to forecast plays before they happened quickly became must-see TV.
Once a career-Pacer, PG-13 tested free agency and wound up with a budding superteam in the Oklahoma City Thunder. George joined Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony in OKC after averaging about 23 points per game in each of his last two seasons in Indiana.
The last time Boone donned pinstripes was in 2003, when he delivered one of the most legendary home runs in Yankee history (and they've hit plenty). Boone hit a walk-off homer in Game 7 of the ALCS to send the Yankees to the World Series. They'd eventually lose the Fall Classic to the Florida Marlins, but, nevertheless, Boone's name was etched in Yankee history.
Now, 14 years later, Boone is back in the Bronx. He was surprisingly selected as manager of the club after Joe Girardi left in a hire that has resulted in praise for the forward-thinking Yankee front office.
Unfortunately, the Celtics' newly signed forward is on this list for the wrong reason. After playing just five minutes in Boston, the former Jazz superstar fractured his left tibia and dislocated his left ankle in a gruesome and graphic injury.
People took to Google to track down footage of the disastrous fall, resulting in Hayward becoming the most-Googled athlete other than the man who follows.
Being the most-Googled athlete of 2017 is just icing on the cake for Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr. in a year that saw him further legitimize his moniker by raking in more than $100 million for the bout with Conor McGregor. The MMA star was surprisingly left out of the top 10.