As much as folks may not want to admit it, everyone has a favorite NBA player. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t mean you lack the love for your hometown team. It just means that, when given the opportunity, you’ll most likely throw your support that player’s way. And how will you do this? By sporting their jersey — obviously.
When it comes to NBA jersey sales, it’s usually the game’s more established players who tend stand above the rest. However, every so often, a newbie comes along and winds up disrupting the status quo. And right now, that individual is Philadelphia’s rookie sensation Ben Simmons.
According merchandise sales reported by Fanatics.com, since being selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft, Simmons finds himself with one of the highest-selling jerseys in the National Basketball Association. As noted by Philly.com:
“Since draft night, Fanatics.com is reporting that in terms of merchandise sales, Simmons is the 10th-best seller among National Basketball Association players. He’s the highest-selling Philadelphia athlete in all sports across the Fanatics platform of hundreds of e-commerce sites, which includes SixersShop.com – the Sixers’ official team store.”
For an individual who has yet to step on the floor in a regular-season game, this latest development is pretty impressive. Of course, it’s one thing to make the top 10, it’s a completely different story to earn a spot among the top five. With that in mind, based on player sales — on Fanatics.com — from June 23 to August 31, here are the five players with the best-selling jerseys in the NBA.
5. Derrick Rose
After a 2015–16 season in which he averaged just 16.4 points and 4.7 assists per game, former MVP Derrick Rose is ready for a fresh start in the Big Apple. Now a member of the New York Knicks, having been traded away by the Chicago Bulls this past offseason, D-Rose decided to pay tribute to his high school days at Simeon by returning to the number of his youth — No. 25. While we have no idea if a new jersey number will help return the point guard to the player he once was (it probably won’t), the New York faithful — and Rose fans everywhere — seem to appreciate the top, making it the fifth highest-selling jersey since the 2016 draft.
4. Kyrie Irving
Since being selected first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2011 draft, Kyrie Irving has slowly evolved into one of the top point guards in the National Basketball Association, earning three trips to the All-Star Game while securing a spot on the Third-Team All NBA back in 2014–15 season. Of course, it wasn’t until his outstanding showing — 27.1 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 3.9 APG — in the 2016 Finals, including this dagger-to-the-heart three-pointer, that his popularity really began to soar. Now, Uncle Drew’s No. 2 jersey is among the five highest-sellers in the game today. Not bad, young buck. Not bad at all.
3. Kevin Durant
By deciding to sign with the Golden State Warriors this past offseason, Kevin Durant didn’t just alter the landscape in the National Basketball Association, he also had a dramatic effect on the sale of player jerseys league-wide. KD has always been among the most popular players in the game today, but now in part to his new “villain” moniker, the No. 35 Dubs jersey is simply flying off the shelves, as it climbs to the third highest-selling top since the NBA draft. Just wait until Durant takes the floor with his new Warriors teammates; something tells us this is just the start of things to come.
2. Stephen Curry
Just when you thought Stephen Curry couldn’t possibly follow-up his 2014–15 performance, he comes out in 2015-16, takes his game to completely new heights, and becomes the first unanimous MVP in NBA history. Granted, his individual heroics didn’t result in a second straight title for the 73-9 Warriors, but kept him among the most popular — and talked about — players in the game today. Since the 2016 draft, the Baby-Faced Assassin has the second highest-selling jersey in the National Basketball Association. If he comes out firing this season, it’s only a matter of time before he regains his spot at the top.
1. LeBron James
After dominating the 2016 NBA Finals and leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to the city’s first professional championship in 52 years, LeBron James is back where he belongs — at the top of the sport. Not only did the Cavs take home the hardware, but LBJ, once again, found himself with the highest-selling jersey in the National Basketball Association. Just as it is on the basketball court, stopping James is easier said than done. As we all know, it’s good to be the King.