Even though the Los Angeles Lakers haven’t been in winning ways, their stars and brand continue to shine.
LeBron James is having one of the best scoring seasons of his career in his 20th season. At 38 years old, James is averaging nearly 30 points per game and carrying the load offensively. Before being injured in December, Anthony Davis was putting up MVP-type numbers averaging 27 points, 11 rebounds and almost 3 blocks per game.
Those performances haven’t led to consistent success on the court, however, as the Lakers are at risk of missing the playoffs for the second straight season. Despite that, it hasn’t had an impact on their popularity around the world:
The NBA and NBPA today jointly announced that the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry and the Los Angeles Lakers secured the top spots on the NBA’s Most Popular Jersey and Team Merchandise lists, respectively.
More ➡️ https://t.co/8IfWKoZ2jS pic.twitter.com/EZFuJxdmbH
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) January 20, 2023
It’s no surprise that the Lakers have the top-selling merchandise in the league. LeBron had the highest-selling jersey and the Lakers were the league’s top-selling merchandise for the 2021-22 season.
A historic franchise, their brand has only increased in recent years with a championship in 2020. The addition of well-known names such as James and Davis has amplified the franchise too. Even if wins aren’t coming as easy as before, it’s no secret that the brand is still as strong as ever.
In September 2022, Forbes reported that the Lakers were valued at $5.5 billion, the tenth highest in the world for a sports franchise. Surprisingly, the Golden State Warriors overtook the Lakers in the ranking. Only the New York Knicks are more valuable than both teams at $5.8 billion.
The brand of the Lakers is as strong as ever, a positive sign during a grim season.
Darvin Ham continuing to receive support from the Lakers’ front office
It’s been an up-and-down season for first-year head coach Darvin Ham. The Lakers have had good stretches of basketball, but also poor ones with consecutive losses hurting their momentum.
Ham still has support from Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka, evident when the Lakers returned from a road trip.
“She gave me a big hug and told me: ‘Hang in there, you’re doing a phenomenal job and things are going to get right. We’re going to start winning consistently, but Darvin, we’re totally happy with what you’re doing and you and your staff are doing an excellent job,’” Ham said. “It was cool. It was really thoughtful.”
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