Way back in 1946, the Philadelphia Warriors beat the Chicago Stags in the first professional basketball league championship. Plenty has changed since then, including the name of the league (BBA to NBA), the team names (who are the Stags?!) and the length of the uniform shorts. But there are still some certainties in hoops—the rim remains 10 feet high, there are still five guys per team on the court—and at its core, basketball remains the same.

In fact, sometimes it even repeats itself. This year’s finals series between the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat is a re-match from five years ago. When we take a look at the data in our Insights for Search tool, it seems that sports fans across the U.S. are much more interested in the match-up this time around, as searches for both teams are currently far outpacing their 2006 levels.

Basketball has always been a game of big stars—with just 10 players on the court at any one time, one player can change the game in a major way. Looking at players like [kobe bryant] and [tim duncan], we can see the professional league’s best players have shined during the NBA Finals. This year is proving to be no exception as the big names in the playoffs dominate people’s basketball searches. Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki is the most popular Maverick and Lebron bests his fellow super-stars, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade, as well as the rest of the Heat players.

While Lebron “King” James and Dirk “The Diggler” Nowitzki are the top dogs on their respective teams, it’s another player, Jason Kidd of the Mavericks, who is really the breakout star of these Finals. The 17-year NBA veteran has visited the Finals before (with the New Jersey Nets in 2002 and 2003), but he’s never won a championship; in fact, Kidd has played in more playoff games without winning a championship than any other active player. With his team currently up 3-2, this year might finally be his to win. While he’s had a career worthy of the Hall of Fame, the veteran has seen a resurgence in interest from U.S. sports fans this season, as you can see in the chart below.

Another way to look at NBA Finals search trends is geographically. As you’d expect, foreign-born players are seeing interest spike in their homelands. Dirk Nowitzki is popular in Germany and Joel Anthony, a Canadian playing center for the Miami Heat, is generating lots of interest from Canuck hoops fans.

It’s not just the two cities with teams left playing that are searching for info on the series. Cleveland—the jilted former home of Lebron James—has taken a bigger interest in the [nba finals] than ever before. It seems both lovers and haters are paying attention to their former star’s fate.

To understand the fan frenzy in Dallas, we need look no further than how the team stacks up to the traditional fare for most Texans: barbecue. In the Dallas area, [mavs] searches are currently outpacing [bbq] searches. When basketball is outpacing ribs in Texas, you know something big is going down in the Lone Star State.

Though I’m neither a Texan nor a Floridian, with just two potential games left in a neck-and-neck series I’ll be settling in to watch Game 6 this Sunday hoping for another historic NBA Finals moment.