FanSided 250: Serena Williams finally overtakes LeBron James

After LeBron James finished ahead of her in the previous editions, Serena Williams moved above the NBA star in the 2019 FanSided 250 rankings.

Serena Williams has once again secured a high ranking in the FanSided 250, placing 3rd among sports figures and 10th in the overall 2019 list.

The rankings, which compare fanbases using multiple methods like fan votes plus search and social media numbers, were announced on Tuesday.

This edition focused on how buzzworthy fandoms have been over the past 12 months and Serena, who also represented tennis strongly in 2017 and 2018, was prominent once more.

Serena made the overall top 10 and her top-three placing in the specific category of sports figures saw only one young star from each of the NFL and NBA rated ahead of her.

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They were Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who was the league MVP last season, and New Orleans Pelicans superstar Zion Williamson, a college basketball sensation before he was drafted at number one overall.

Serena was in the spotlight regularly during 2019 in her pursuit of Margaret Court’s all-time Grand Slam record of 24, giving her fans plenty of excitement and ensuring she placed well this year.

The American ultimately suffered heartbreak in two major finals, losing to Simona Halep at Wimbledon and Bianca Andreescu at the US Open.

It means Serena’s record attempt will continue into 2020, making her a strong candidate to perform well in next year’s FanSided 250 too, especially if she goes on to equal or surpass the record total.

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Serena managed to beat some impressive names in the sports figures category. Directly behind her were three high-profile athletes who similarly could be described as veterans and potential GOATs: Tom Brady, LeBron James and Tiger Woods.

Also in the top 10 sports figures were Giannis Antetokounmpo, Lionel Messi, Becky Lynch and Megan Rapinoe.

Beating LeBron in particular was a significant step for Serena in the FanSided 250.

In 2018, the 38-year-old came second in the sports figures list behind only Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron.

That was after she finished third in 2017, with LeBron once more ahead of her and Colin Kaepernick the other athlete to come out ahead.

The top 10 sports figures in 2019 had three NBA representatives, two from the NFL and two from soccer.

Tennis, golf and WWE all had one sports figure each, with the top member of the category, Mahomes, coming in at number 5 overall.

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The four entries ahead of Mahomes at the top of the overall list were Marvel movies, the LA Lakers, Star Wars movies and Beyonce.