Lebron Backlash Over? James #1 in NBA Jersey Sales

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LeBron James of the Miami Heat grabbed the No. 1 spot on the NBA’s Most Popular Jerseys list, regaining the top ranking for the first time since April 2004. Does that mean the backlash from “The Decision,” quite possibly one of the dumbest PR moves in not only sports but also celebrity history,  is now over?

Have people forgiven the self-ascribed King, or is his jersey being purchased by front-runner douches eager to align themselves with the league’s biggest villain? You might remember the stir caused by a fan wearing a Lebron Heat jersey to a Cleveland Indians game in July, when the wound was still fresh.

By Paul M. Banks

Los Angeles Lakers’ guard Kobe Bryant, another POLARIZING figure, has owned the position since the start of the 2008-09 season, but he finished second in 2010-11 season, while Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics rounds out the top three for the first time in his career. Maybe Kobe should change his number again, to re-shape his image.

Four Boston Celtics aside from Rondo – Shaquille O’Neal (No. 12), Ray Allen (No. 13), Paul Pierce (No. 14), and Kevin Garnett (No. 15) – appear in the top 15, marking the first time five players from the same team have earned a place on the list.

Rookies John Wall of the Washington Wizards and Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers by debut on the list at Nos. 10 and 11, respectively. They are the only two players in the top fifteen who are not in the playoffs.

As the Lakers try for a third consecutive championship, their gear continues to be in high demand (LOTS OF FRAT BOY FRONT-RUNNERS OUT THERE) topping the NBA’s list of most popular team merchandise for the eighth time in the last nine seasons. The Celtics remain in the No. 2 spot, where they have been since the start of the 2008-09 season. The Heat, the New York Knicks, and the Chicago Bulls round out the top five. For the first time, the Oklahoma City Thunder landed in the top 10 at No. 6.

Top 15 Most Popular NBA Jerseys:

1. LeBron James, Miami Heat

2. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

3. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics

4. Amar’e Stoudemire, New York Knicks

5. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls

6. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat

7. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

8. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

9. Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic

10. John Wall, Washington Wizards

11. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

12. Shaquille O’Neal, Boston Celtics

13. Ray Allen, Boston Celtics

14. Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics

15. Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics

The NBA’s top-selling jerseys list is based on sales on NBAStore.com since the start of the 2010-11 NBA season.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

He does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports Radio.com You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

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