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LeBron James, Lakers lead NBA sales categories despite missing playoffs

Cassandra Negley
Yahoo Sports Contributor

It doesn’t take a playoff berth to secure every No. 1.

LeBron James has the most popular jersey in the league and the Los Angeles Lakers hold the top spot in team merchandise sales, per a release from the NBA and NBA Players Association.

James and the Lakers edged out Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors for the respective accolades. Curry held the title of most popular jersey for three consecutive seasons and the Warriors had the most merchandise sales over the same span. As in the NBA Finals, James and his Cleveland Cavaliers fell into second place.

Most popular jerseys in 2019

James and Curry swapped spots and were joined in the top three by MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo, who jumped up one spot from last year.The Greek Freak” was ranked ninth in 2017.

The Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid finished fifth for a career-high in jersey sale rankings. They led with three of the top 15.

Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic premiered at No. 13.

Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade rejoined the list in his ultimate season, finishing 11th, and Oklahoma City Thunder’s Paul George also made a return for the first time since 2016.

  1. LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

  2. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

  3. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

  4. Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics

  5. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

  6. James Harden, Houston Rockets

  7. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

  8. Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors

  9. Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers

  10. Jimmy Butler, Philadelphia 76ers

  11. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat

  12. Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder

  13. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

  14. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers

  15. Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Most popular teams in merch sales

All but one team on last year’s list remained in 2019, though they all moved around.

Lakers merchandise was a hot-ticket item in James’ first season on the West Coast. The team was ranked fourth last year. The Boston Celtics moved from fifth to third, bumping the 76ers down to fourth.

The Cavaliers, ranked second, fell off the list completely. The Toronto Raptors joined the top 10 at No. 8.

1. Los Angeles Lakers

2. Golden State Warriors

3. Boston Celtics

4. Philadelphia 76ers

5. Milwaukee Bucks

6. Chicago Bulls

7. Oklahoma City Thunder

8. Houston Rockets

9. Toronto Raptors

10. New York Knicks

LeBron James had the league's most popular jersey in his first season in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

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