April 13, 2011: The King (of jersey sales) is dead. Long live the King (James).
LeBron James has claimed an NBA title, just not the one he put as a priority when he left the Cleveland Cavaliers as a free agent to join the Miami Heat.
James has earned the No. 1 spot on the NBA’s best-selling jerseys list, a position he last held in April 2004 when he was a rookie with the Cavaliers.
James replaced Los Angeles Lakers’ guard Kobe Bryant, who has been in the top position since the start of the 2008-09 season. Bryant's jersey came in second in sales for the 2010-11 season. Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics came in third.
The NBA’s top-selling jerseys list is based on sales on NBAStore.com since the start of the 2010-11 NBA season.
In addition to Rondo, four other members of the Celtics finished in the top 15: Shaquille O’Neal (No. 12), Ray Allen (No. 13), Paul Pierce (No. 14), and Kevin Garnett (No. 15). According to the NBA, this marks the first time five players from the same team have earned a place among the top 15.
Among rookies, John Wall of the Washington Wizards and Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers debuted on the list at No.10 and No. 11, respectively.
However, even with James' teammate Dwayne Wade's jersey at No. 6 on the list, the Heat were behind the Lakers and Celtics on the NBA’s list of most popular team merchandise. The Lakers topped that list for the eighth time in the last nine seasons.
The Celtics have had the second-most popular team merchandise since the start of the 2008-09 season.
The New York Knicks, led by top-selling jerseys from Amar'e Stoudemire (No. 4) and Carmelo Anthony (No. 8, with his Denver Nuggets jersey sales also factored in), were No. 4 on the team merchandise list.
The Chicago Bulls, led by MVP candidate Derrick Rose, whose jersey was No. 5 on the best-selling list for the past season, had the fifth best-selling merchandise.
Oklahoma City Thunder merchandise finished at No. 10, the team's first top 10 spot. That was due in large part to Kevin Durant, whose jersey was No. 7 among best-sellers.
This is the fifth season that adidas has served as the official on-court uniform and apparel provider of the NBA.
Top 15 Most Popular NBA Jerseys
1. LeBron James, Miami Heat
2. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
3. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
4. Amar’e Stoudemire, New York Knicks
5. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
6. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
7. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
8. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
9. Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
10. John Wall, Washington Wizards
11. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
12. Shaquille O’Neal, Boston Celtics
13. Ray Allen, Boston Celtics
14. Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics
15. Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics
Top 10 Most Popular Team Merchandise
1. Los Angeles Lakers
2. Boston Celtics
3. Miami Heat
4. New York Knicks
5. Chicago Bulls
6. Oklahoma City Thunder
7. Orlando Magic
8. San Antonio Spurs
9. Denver Nuggets
10. Phoenix Suns