By Barry Janoff
January 22, 2016: The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors are not only No. 1 with the league's best record, led by last season's MVP (and a top contender for repeat honors) Stephen Curry, they also are No. 1 in driving sales among fans and consumers.
The Warriors lead the league in merchandise sales and Curry is No. 1 in jersey sales, according to the NBA, based on sales figures at StoreNBA.com from October-December 2015.
Curry's backcourt teammate, Klay Thompson, was No. 11 in jersey sales.
As happened during the 2014-15 NBA Finals, Curry and the Warriors topped LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, this time in these two areas: The Cavaliers are No. 3 in team sales (with the Chicago Bulls No. 2) and James was No. 2 in player jersey sales.
Although specific retail figures were not disclosed, the NBA said that StoreNBA.com had its largest Black Friday (Nov. 27) and Cyber Monday (Nov. 30) in history, with "combined sales up 20% from the previous year."
Figures did not include the new NBA Store in New York, which opened on Dec. 21.
The period also included Christmas Day, when the NBA had five games on national TV that saw players wearing special holiday jerseys, a strategy that was supported by multi-media marketing including a TV spot, "One Wish."
Generic East and West team jerseys for the upcoming All-Star Game also went on sale during the reported sales period, although special player jerseys were not available until after the teams were named this past week.
Early results regarding best-selling All-Star Game jerseys are Curry, Bryant, James, Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors), Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat), Westbrook, George and Durant, per Store.NBA.com.
The Warriors were not No. 1 in another area, however, ranking as No. 6 in the league regarding franchise value.
Golden State is valued at $1.9 billion, according to Forbes, which has the Top Five as the New York Knicks ($3 billion), Los Angeles Lakers ($2.7 billion), Chicago Bulls ($2.3 billion), Boston Celtics ($2.1 billion) and Los Angeles Clippers ($2 billion).
The Top Ten jersey sales also include Kobe Bryant (Lakers) at No. 3, Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis at No. 4 (and the only rookie on the list), No. 5 Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), No. 6 Derrick Rose (Bulls), No. 7 Russell Westbrook (Thunder), No. 8. Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers), No. 9. James Harden (Houston Rockets) and No. 10 Jimmy Butler (Bulls).
According to the NBA, Bryant moved up three positions from the previous list (June 2015) to No. 3, while Durant and Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook each moved up six spots to Nos. 5 and 7, respectively.
Concurrently, Jimmy Butler made his debut on the list at No. 10 and Paul George of the Indiana Pacers earned his highest ranking ever at No. 12.
Top 15 Most Popular NBA Jerseys
1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
3. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
4. Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
5. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
6. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
7. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
8. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
9. James Harden, Houston Rockets
10. Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls
11. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
12. Paul George, Indiana Pacers
13. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
14. Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers
15. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
Top 10 Most Popular Team Merchandise
1. Golden State Warriors
2. Chicago Bulls
3. Cleveland Cavaliers
4. Los Angeles Lakers
5. New York Knicks
6. San Antonio Spurs
7. Oklahoma City Thunder
8. Miami Heat
9. Boston Celtics
10. Los Angeles Clippers
Forbes NBA Most Valuable Teams
1. New York Knicks $3 billion
2. Los Angeles Lakers $2.7 billion
3. Chicago Bulls $2.3 billion
4. Boston Celtics $2.1 billion
5. Los Angeles Clippers $2 billion
6. Golden State Warriors $1.9 billion
7. Brooklyn Nets $1.7 billion
8. Houston Rockets $1.5 billion
9. Dallas Mavericks $1.4 billion
10. Miami Heat $1.3 billion
11. San Antonio Spurs $1.15 billion
12. Cleveland Cavaliers $1.1 billion
13. Phoenix Suns $1 billion
14. Toronto Raptors $980 million
15. Portland Trail Blazers $975 million
16. Washington Wizards $960 million
17. Oklahoma City Thunder $950 million
18. Sacramento Kings $925 million
19. Orlando Magic $900 million
20. Utah Jazz $875 million
21. Denver Nuggets $855 million
22. Detroit Pistons $850 million
23. Indiana Pacers $940 million
24. Atlanta Hawks $825 million
25. Memphis Grizzlies $780 million
26. Charlotte Hornets $750 million
27. Minnesota Timberwolves $720 million
28. Philadelphia 76ers $700 million
29. Milwaukee Bucks $675 million
30. New Orleans Pelicans $650 million
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