James tops Durant, Bryant for NBA's most popular jersey
By Ben Golliver
The Heat's LeBron James owned 2012, accumulating a slew of accolades along the way: All-Star, All-NBA First-Team, All-Defensive First-Team, MVP, Finals MVP, NBA champion and Olympics gold medalist. This week, he added "king of jersey sales" to that list.
The NBA announced Wednesday that James beat out Thunder forward Kevin Durant and Lakers guard Kobe Bryant to reclaim the top spot on its list of top-selling jerseys between April and November 2012. Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony and Bulls guard Derrick Rose rounded out the top five. James takes over the top spot from Rose, who hasn't appeared in a game yet this season as he rehabilitates from a serious knee injury.
"It's an honor to be No.1," James said, according to CNBC.com. "I give all of the credit to the fans. I would also like to thank all of my supporters and the Miami Heat organization. Let's keep it going."
The Knicks took the top spot for team merchandise sales, besting the Heat, Lakers, Bulls and Celtics.
James' No. 6 jersey has been a top-seller since he joined the Heat in 2010, changing from the No. 23 he wore as a member of the Cavaliers. The Heat's store on NBA.com currently offers at least 10 different designs that bear James' name and number, shown above, including models in black, white, all-white, red, gray, pinstripe and camouflage. There are also versions for Latino heritage nights and multiple designs that celebrate the Heat's 2012 NBA title, the first of James' career.
You can view photos of the top 15 players based on jersey sales in this SI.com gallery. Keep reading for the full lists of the most popular players and teams when it comes to jerseys and merchandise sales, respectively.
Top 15 Most Popular NBA Jerseys:
1. LeBron James, Miami Heat
2. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunde
3. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
4. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
5. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
6. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
7. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
9. Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers
10. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
12. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
13. Steve Nash, Los Angeles Lakers
14. Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics
Top 10 Most Popular Team Merchandise:
1. New York Knicks
2. Miami Heat
3. Los Angeles Lakers
4. Chicago Bulls
5. Boston Celtics
6. Oklahoma City Thunder
7. Brooklyn Nets
8. Los Angeles Clippers
9. San Antonio Spurs10. Dallas Mavericks