By: Tom Rotunno
James is back at number one for the first time since April 2004. Kobe Bryant, who held the top spot for the last two seasons, falls to number two.
The NBA’s top-selling jerseys list is based on sales on NBAStore.com since the start of the 2010-11 NBA season.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the list comes at number three, a spot claimed by the Boston Celtics Rajon Rondo, who finished 15th last season.
It’s the biggest jump of any player this season and is remarkable given his popularity is still likely limited to the Boston area. Rondo traded places with his teammate Kevin Garnett, who fell from 3rd to 15th.
Other players who saw their jersey jump in popularity include the New York Knicks Amar’e Stoudemire, who ranks 4th after not making the list last year. Rookies John Wall and Blake Griffin were tops in the rookie class, coming in at 10th and 11th respectively.
The New Orleans Hornets’ Chris Paul saw the biggest drop, falling out of the top 15 after finishing 7th last year.
A league high – and Most Popular Jersey List record – five Boston Celtics made the top 15 (Rondo #3, Shaquille O’Neal #12, Ray Allen #13, Paul Pierce #14, and Kevin Garnett #15).
It wasn’t enough to help Boston claim the overall top spot in team sales. That distinction falls to the Los Angeles Lakers, whose gear is the number one most popular selling team merchandise for the eighth time in the last nine seasons.
Making its first top ten appearance in team history is the Oklahoma City Thunder at number 6. It will likely come as no shock that the Cleveland Cavaliers fell out of the top 10 in team merchandise sales this season. The Cavaliers were the third most popular team in the 2009-10 season, the last before King James took his talents – and jersey sales – to South Beach.
Here’s a look at the top ten selling teams in 2010-11:
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
Courtesy of: CNBC