The Los Angeles Lakers may not have finished their season the way they wanted, by hoisting up another NBA Championship trophy, but LeBron James and the rest of the franchise remain at the top of NBA fandom. When it comes to merchandise, James and the Lakers have long been at the top of the charts.
The Lakers are one of the premier franchises in all of sports, and James is one of the most popular athletes in American sports history. Combine those two and it is a recipe for success when it comes to sales overall and that remains the case despite the disappointing season.
According to Lakers Nation’s own Ryan Ward, the Lakers were the top franchise in the NBA in terms of merchandise sales, while James led the way amongst individual NBA players for the second half of this season:
LeBron James and the Lakers remain atop the NBA's most popular jersey and team merchandise sales, while the Bucks and Suns finish top five in team sales. pic.twitter.com/LnbfeBXng8
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) July 14, 2021
This really should come as no surprise considering the reach that the Lakers and James have on their own. Regardless of their on-court success, the Lakers will continue to be one of, if not the most popular franchise in the NBA. The fans are some of the most loyal around and that also applies to James, who remained at the top of the individual list despite playing just 45 games this season.
The Brooklyn Nets followed the Lakers in merchandise sales while the Phoenix Suns were third in something of a surprise. The Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls round out the top-5 while the New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors all made the top-10.
In terms of individual players, Giannis Antetokounmpo ranks second behind James followed by Kevin Durant, Luka Doncic and Jayson Tatum. Devin Booker, Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Damian Lillard round out the top-10.
LeBron James, Anthony Davis featured on 2021-22 NBA MVP odds list
In terms of on the court, James, as well as Anthony Davis, remain two of the best players in the NBA and the recent odds for next season’s regular-season MVP award show that.
James currently has the fifth-best odds at 9-to-1, trailing behind co-favorites Doncic and Durant as well as Curry, Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid. A bit further down sits Davis at 28-to-1 odds which trails the likes of Trae Young, Booker and Tatum, among others.
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