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Best Sellers: LeBron James, Knicks Boast Most Sought-After Items In NBA

By Barry Janoff

November 28, 2012: It certainly pays to win an NBA championship.

Just ask LeBron James, who helped to lead the Miami Heat to the 2011-12 NBA title and has been reaping the rewards ever since.

The most-recent accolade: James, who was named MVP of the finals, jumped up to No. 1 on the list of best-selling NBA jerseys, a position he last held in April 2011.

Joining James atop the just-released list is the New York Knicks, which sold the most team merchandise, based on sales at the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue and on NBAStore.com from April-Nov. 26, 2012.

The league did not release sales figures. The NBA is currently in the vetting process of deciding when, where or if advertising patches should be added to jerseys, possibly as early as the 2013-14 season.

The WNBA currently has six teams that have sold jersey-front sponsorship deals, including the Los Angeles Sparks (Farmers Insurance) and New York Liberty (Foxwoods).

James, whose jersey was No. 4 on the previous list, was joined by Heat teammate Dwyane Wade, who had the No. 7 best-selling jersey during that period.

As he did in the NBA Finals, James beat out Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma CIty Thunder, who had the No. 2 selling jersey. Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers was No. 3, followed by Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks and Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls.

Bryant's teammates, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, are in their first year with the Lakers, which helped to put them among the Top 15 in jersey sales at No. 9 and No. 13, respectively. They were the only two players among the Top 15 on new teams, and thus with new team jerseys, on the list.

On the team side, the Knicks beat out the Heat, Lakers, Bulls and Boston Celtics in merchandise sales.

The Knicks, however, could face a challenge in the future from the Brooklyn Nets, whose Jay-Z designed jerseys came in at No. 7 in team sales, just behind the Thunder. On the players' side, the Nets' Deron Williams just missed the Top Ten.

The numbers include figures through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. On Nov. 26 — aka Cyber Monday —  the NBA said its sales were up double-digits over 2011 and that NBAStore.com posted its biggest Cyber Monday sales since the league has tracked such stats.

The NBA said that since 200, James has had the No. 1 spot three times and Bryant six times in the bi-annual survey.

This year marks the seventh season that adidas has served as the official on-court uniform and apparel provider of the NBA.

Full lists follow:

Top 15 Most Popular NBA Jerseys
1. LeBron James, Miami Heat
2. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
3. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
4. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
5. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
6. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
7. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
8. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
9. Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers
10. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
11. Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets
12. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
13. Steve Nash, Los Angeles Lakers
14. Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics
15. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks

Top 10 Most Popular Team Merchandise
1. New York Knicks
2. Miami Heat
3. Los Angeles Lakers
4. Chicago Bulls
5. Boston Celtics
6. Oklahoma City Thunder
7. Brooklyn Nets
8. Los Angeles Clippers
9. San Antonio Spurs
10. Dallas Mavericks

Source: NBA

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