Cleveland Cavaliers icon LeBron James may be the leader in All-Star voting to this point, but he's not the most marketable player in the league. Golden State Warriors sharpshooter Stephen Curry led the NBA in jersey sales from Oct. to Dec. 2017, the NBA announced in a press release Tuesday. Coming in second is James, followed by Curry's teammate, Kevin Durant.
It's the third year in a row Curry has led the league in jersey sales. The two-time NBA champion and league MVP has become wildly popular as the face of the Warriors, who have become famous for their run-and-gun brand of exciting basketball with Curry running the point. His insane dribbling skills, and limitless shooting range have made him the most marketable player in the league, even though James has the more impressive basketball resume at this point in his career.
Milwaukee Bucks phenom Giannis Antetokounmpo cracked the top five for the first time in his young career, overtaking New York Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis for No. 4. The Greek Freak debuted on the list last year at No. 14, and finished the season ninth. The 23-year-old, despite playing in a small market in Milwaukee, is extremely popular internationally, and is second in the league in scoring (28.3 points per game) heading into action Tuesday night.
Surprisingly, a pair of blossoming Philadelphia 76ers are skyrocketing in popularity. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons rank sixth and eighth, respectively on the list. Even more shocking, the emergence of the two stars has put the Sixers third on the list of most popular franchises behind the Warriors and Cavaliers. "The Process" is beginning to literally pay off for Philadelphia after many years of misery, as the franchise vies for its first playoff berth in five seasons. With Embiid and Simmons leading the way, the Sixers should be a mainstay in the playoffs for years to come, too.
Kyrie Irving, who was dealt in a blockbuster trade to the Boston Celtics this summer, fell out of the top 10 after finishing fifth on the list last season as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He now sits 13th in jersey sales, despite breaking away from the shadow of James and now playing for one of the most historic NBA franchises
Here's the entire list released Tuesday: