LeBron James, Knicks Top NBA’s Most Popular Jerseys List

| by Alex Groberman

It’s always a little difficult to figure out what jersey sales really tell us. In theory, they are supposed to offer some general insight on player and team popularity, as well as how devoted people are to their particular squads. (It’s easy to root for a given ballclub, it takes a bit of devotion to drop $80 on a clothing item with that ballclub’s name scrawled on the front.)

The problem is, jersey sales are heavily dependent on a bunch of factors that have nothing to do with player or team popularity.

For example: if a player changes numbers or teams, then people have more of a reason to buy his jersey than that of a player who has been on the same team, with the same number for a decade. Moreover, as noted by Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld, there are questions about how the sales figures are even totaled up.

The jersey sales claims do not represent mass retailers that account for the greatest percentage of jersey sales.

— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) November 28, 2012

Regardless of how accurate or legitimate a means of testing popularity jersey sales are, though, there is no denying that they are fun to look at.  Here is how this year’s totals look:


1. LeBron James

2. Kevin Durant

3. Kobe Bryant

4. Carmelo Anthony

5. Derrick Rose

6. Rajon Rondo

7. Dwyane Wade

8. Blake Griffin

9. Dwight Howard

10. Chris Paul


1. New York Knicks

2. Miami Heat

3. Los Angele 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

A few notes: Dwight Howard being as low on this list as he is has to be seen as a testament to how much less marketable big men are. Dwyane Wade being as high on the list as he is a bit surprising, too. Same goes for Jeremy Lin not being on the list. As far as teams go, it’s mildly shocking that the Lakers couldn’t beat out the Miami Heat. The Nets being as low as they are is strange, but it’s probably because of how plain and uninspiring the new jerseys are.

What do you think: what was the most surprising thing about this year’s jersey sales list?

(Kudos CBS Sports)

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