All it took was a regular-season MVP, NBA championship, Finals MVP and Olympic gold medal for Miami Heat forward LeBron James to regain the No. 1 spot on the NBA’s best-selling jersey list.
James last held the top spot in April, 2011 and was No. 4 in the most recent best-selling jersey list in late April. He passed Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, now-Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin and Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, who had the top spot in April but has not played since the playoffs with a torn ACL in his left knee.
It is the third time James has topped the biannual list based on sales at the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and on NBAStore.com. The list is released in late April and late November each year.
Since 2001, Bryant has been atop the list six times, more than any other player. Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett, Heat guard Dwyane Wade and former NBA center Shaquille O’Neal are the only other players to have a best-selling jersey since 2001.
The most popular NBA jerseys in order: James, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, Bryant, New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, Rose, Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, Heat guard Dwyane Wade, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, Lakers center Dwight Howard, Clippers guard Chris Paul, Brooklyn Nets guard Deron Williams, Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, Lakers guard Steve Nash, Celtics forward Paul Pierce and Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki.
It is the first time Westbrook has made the list, and Rondo and Paul each moved up four spots since April
Players who dropped off the April list: Lin, Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire and now-Heat guard Ray Allen.
The NBA also released its top-10 selling team merchandise: the Knicks, Heat, Lakers, Bulls, Celtics, Thunder, Nets, Clippers, San Antonio Spurs and Mavericks.