The NBA has a fast-growing fanbase, as basketball is a global sport. Naturally, NBA teams and player merchandise are some of the highest-selling sports gear in the country.
Which NBA superstar's jersey was sold the most in 2021?
This ranking was announced by the NBA during the 2021 NBA Finals. It is based on the jersey sales on NBAStore.com between March 11th and July 13th, 2021.
While we saw basketball at the NBA's biggest stage, several fans donned the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks' jerseys. Both finalists finished top five in team merchandise sold. However, the biggest takeaway from the list was the absence of the reigning MVP Nikola Jokic from the top 15.
So without further ado, let's look at the ten best-selling NBA jerseys in 2021 so far.
#10 Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard is in tenth spot in the 2021 jersey sales so far. He was eighth this time last year, but was 14th in 2018.
Players like Kristaps Porzingis, Lonzo Ball and Klay Thompson fell out of the top-selling jerseys, and Lillard climbed a few spots. Lillard's jersey sale ranking has fluctuated, but he has been in the top 15 for the past few years.
#9 James Harden
It doesn't matter if it is Houston or Brooklyn; if it's a James Harden's jersey, it's going to sell. Harden is in ninth spot in 2021 NBA jersey sales so far. He was ranked fifth during the pre-COVID 2019-20 NBA season, and then fell out of the top 15 when the competition restarted in Orlando.
#8 Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving put on a show last season. He made an appearance in the exclusive 50-40-90 club, and he did so while averaging 26.9 points per game.
Irving is just one of four players in NBA history to average 25+ points and shoot 50-40-90. Irving has seen a climb in his jersey sale numbers, which were 12th in the NBA in the last two seasons.
#7 Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry saw a dip in his jersey sales despite the phenomenal season he just had.
Curry has been either first or in the top 3 in jersey sales since 2015, and the Golden State Warriors have been top ten in team merchandise sales because of him. He was ranked third in the 2019-20 NBA season before the pandemic, but after he got injured and the NBA action resumed in Orlando, he slipped down to sixth.
#6 Devin Booker
Devin Booker is a superstar in the making. His 2021 NBA playoffs and Finals run saw him drastically climb in jersey sales.
He was ranked 12th last season, but is sixth now, making his first appearance in the top ten. After the Phoenix Suns made the 2021 NBA Finals, their team jersey and merchandise sales boosted.
Devin Booker's jersey has been a favorite over Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton's.
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#5 Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum is the face of the city's NBA franchise, Boston Celtics. And Boston, Massachusetts is a major sports market in the country.
It is understandable the 23-year-old's jersey ranks top 5 in the NBA, ahead of superstars like Curry, Lillard and Harden. Tatum was ranked fourth in the 2019-20 NBA season either side of the Orlando bubble restart.
#4 Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic's presence in the top five isn't surprising at all. He is widely regarded as the next face of the NBA after the LeBron James and Stephen Curry days are over.
Doncic's popularity has risen every year. Dallas County declared July 6th as Luka Doncic Day. The state of Texas recognizes that because of him, hundreds of people around the world will wear the word 'Dallas' on their chest. He was ranked second in jersey sales after the bubble restart.
#3 Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant's jersey has been one of the highest-selling jerseys in the NBA for years, no matter which team he plays for.
He was ranked seventh in the 2019-20 NBA season. But due to his resurgence after his Achilles injury and his performances in the 2019-20 NBA season, he is back up to third. Brooklyn Nets now have three players in the top ten in NBA jersey sales.
#2 Giannis Antetokounmpo
It is only fitting that Giannis Antetokounmpo is in the top two in jersey sales after NBA executives and scouts voted him the best player in the league alongside Kevin Durant.
He was second in jersey sales during his second MVP season, but those numbers took a hit after the 2020 NBA playoffs. However, after bringing a championship back to Milwaukee and his dominant NBA Finals run, he is back to second.
#1 LeBron James
It's no surprise King James tops the NBA jersey sales even though he was injured for a major chunk of the season, and his team got eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.
LeBron James has been either first or top three in jersey sales for most of his career. Be it Kobe Bryant, Durant, Antetokounmpo or Curry, James is always on the podium. The LA Lakers also tops the team merchandise sales even though Anthony Davis' jersey sales took a hit.