Friday, April 19, 2013

Who's searching for Michael Jordan?

In a previous post we analyzed the trend and seasonality in Google searches for Kobe Bryant. We then looked at the evolution of queries for Lebron James, Derrick Rose, Steve Nash. But what about the greatest NBA legend?

Here's the raw data from Google Trends for Michael Jordan, strating in 2004 despite his last game being in 2003:

Using the same decomposition analysis detailed in the Kobe Bryant post, we get the following results:

For a retired NBA player, Michael isn't doing too badly!

From the seasonality it would seem that he continues to have the offseason / regular season / Playoff pattern, but a closer look reveals the spikes are in February! The only explanation I have is that it is his birthday and being Michael Jordan people tend to hear about it and follow-up on a search, perhaps to refresh his memory at how good a player he was.

Since 2009, searches for him have actually steadily increased, which basically correspond to the big spike when he was inducted in the Hall of Fame (August 2009). The second huge recent spike is the renewed interest in him when he celebrated his 50th birthday. It was also rumored that he was still in such good shape that he could return to play a few games in the NBA! The big dip after the spike is probably due to people that would have normally searched for him in March had searched for him already the previous month!

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