LeBron James has completely transformed his career since April of 2011, mere weeks before the Miami Heat’s failure against the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals, which is coincidentally the last time he had the best-selling jersey in the NBA.
In that year-and-a-half time period, the King finally captured his first ring, helped Team USA win the gold at the London Olympic Games (the second of his career) and earned both the regular season and NBA Finals MVP awards.
It’s not a stretch and hardly a surprise to learn that James’ jersey is now the hottest selling one in the entire league, according to a report by the Associated Press (h/t ESPN).
James beat out rival Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder—the franchise Miami faced in the finals and LeBron’s teammate in London—and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers for the distinction.
King James was quick to thank the fans upon finding out his jersey was the top seller, according to the Associated Press write-up.
"I give all of the credit to the fans," said James, whose Cleveland jersey topped the league sales charts in 2004. "I would also like to thank all of my supporters and the Miami Heat organization. Let's keep it going."
Take a look at the list of the top 15 best-selling jerseys from April through November 26 of this year that were handled by the flagship NBA store in New York and online at NBA.com.
It’s a bit of a shock to see Derrick Rose’s jersey doing so well while he’s out with injury, and quite a number of players rocking new uniforms (DH12, Nash, Deron) have unsurprisingly cracked the list.
1. LeBron James, Miami Heat
2. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
3. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
4. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
5. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
6. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
7. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
8. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
9. Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers
10. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
11. Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets
12. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
13. Steve Nash, Los Angeles Lakers
14. Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics
15. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
The AP also released the top-selling jerseys by team, and the New York Knicks have become the No. 1 franchise for total sales, largely boosted by Carmelo’s presence as the fourth-most popular player.
Behind the Knickerbockers are the Heat and Lakers, rounded out by a number of other popular clubs. Take a look at the rest of the top-10 list of best-selling jerseys by team.
1. New York Knicks
2. Miami Heat
3. Los Angeles Lakers
4. Chicago Bulls
5. Boston Celtics
6. Oklahoma City Thunder
7. Brooklyn Nets
8. Los Angeles Clippers
9. San Antonio Spurs
10. Dallas Mavericks
The only team that really catches our eye being on that list is the San Antonio Spurs, but their incredibly loyal fanbase could certainly be purchasing plenty of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker swag.
Keep it tuned here on B/R for the latest on NBA jersey sales figures and the hottest breaking news, rumors, opinions and analysis concerning the Association.