LeBron James Tops NBA Shoe Sales at $340 Million for Nike

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIMarch 18, 2015

AP Images

LeBron James used to be criticized for caring too much about his brand, lacking the conviction and the killer instinct true NBA champions have.  

Two Larry O'Brien Trophies later, the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar is trying to deliver a title to a winner-starved city—and he is doing as well off of the court as he ever has.

James' signature Nike shoes have generated $340 million in sales—a 13 percent revenue increase from the previous year—over the past 12 months through January, Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes reported Wednesday, citing SportScanInfo.

Despite moving away from a bigger Miami market, James is still the Association's endorsement king as well, with $44 million in earnings this season, per Badenhausen.

Nike continues to reign supreme with its NBA shoes, possessing five of the top six bestsellers. James headlines with his incredible total, while Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is second, though he's far behind James' sales at $195 million.

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant comes in third at $105 million, while Nike/Jordan promoters Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony are at $32 million and $30 million, respectively. Adidas' top draw is oft-injured Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, the 2011 regular-season MVP, who matches Paul at $32 million.

In short, the 30-year-old James has built his global brand so well, it doesn't matter where he plays—he is the face of the NBA. His commendable return to Cleveland may have been his best possible move, since he spurned the Cavs for South Beach during his first free-agency foray.

Cleveland now sits in second place in the Eastern Conference, and as the pieces come together for the new-look Cavs, James is experiencing customary, amazing success away from the hardwood, too.

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