The Los Angeles Lakers may not have ended their season the way they wanted, hoisting another NBA Championship trophy, but LeBron James and the rest of the franchise remain at the top of the 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 sports, and James is one of the most popular athletes in American sports history. Combine the two and this is the recipe for success in terms of overall sales and it remains the case despite the disappointing season.
According to Ryan Ward of the Lakers Nation, the Lakers were the first NBA franchise in terms of merchandise sales, while James led the way among individual NBA players for the second half of this season:
LeBron James and the Lakers remain atop the NBA’s most popular team jerseys and merchandise sales, while the Bucks and Suns finish in the top five in team sales. pic.twitter.com/LnbfeBXng8
– Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) July 14, 2021
This should really come as no surprise considering the reach the Lakers and James have on their own. Regardless of their success on the court, the Lakers will continue to be one, if not the most popular franchise in the NBA. The fans are among the most loyal and that also applies to James, who has remained at the top of the individual roster despite only playing 45 games this season.
The Brooklyn Nets followed the Lakers in merchandise sales while the Phoenix Suns were third in a bit 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 make it to 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 on 2021-22 NBA MVP odds list
In terms of pitch, James, along with Anthony Davis, remain two of the best players in the NBA and recent odds for next season’s regular season MVP award show it.
James currently has the fifth best odds at 9-1, behind his co-favorites Doncic and Durant as well as Curry, Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid. Slightly lower, Davis is 28 to 1, which is behind Trae Young, Booker and Tatum, among others.
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