As LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers prepare for Game 1 of the NBA Finals tonight, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association jointly announced that both the star and his team sit atop the league’s most popular jersey and team merchandise lists during the 2020 NBA restart. The lists are based on NBAStore.com sales from July 30 through Sept. 28.
Following James is Slovenian Luka Dončić, the second-year player who led the Dallas Mavericks to their first playoff appearance since 2016 and averaged 28.8 points per game this season and 31 points per game in the playoffs. Dončić also hit a buzzer-beating shot against the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 4 of the series. Rounding out the top five in jersey sales are James’ teammate Anthony Davis, Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum and reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. The league’s Rookie of the Year, Ja Morant, debuted at number 15 on the list.
Nine of the top 15 players are from the Western Conference, while the top 10 team merchandise sales are split down the middle, with five franchises from each conference.
Unsurprisingly, the Lakers are followed by the Celtics in team merchandise popularity. Of the top 10 teams, only three on the list had losing records. The Chicago Bulls were ranked third, the Golden State Warriors fifth and the Portland Trail Blazers ninth. And for the first time since James’ departure from South Beach in 2014, the Miami Heat cracked the top five in team merchandise sales.
The NBA began its bubble restart on July 30 and will conclude the season on Tuesday, Oct. 13 if the Finals goes to seven games. The Lakers are set to square off against the Heat at 9pm EST.