LeBron James tops jersey sales
They were on their honeymoon in Venice.
"It's kind of crazy, honestly," James said. "There's a wow factor."
James is again atop the NBA's list of top-selling jerseys in the newest rankings released Thursday. The rankings are based on overall sales from adidas and NBAStore.com in the fourth quarter of this year, along with Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday sales -- both of which were record-setting, the league said.
Kobe Bryant is No. 2 on the list, followed by Derrick Rose -- despite Bryant missing the Los Angeles Lakers' first 19 games because of an Achilles injury and Rose being sidelined for the season by another knee injury.
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors made the list for the first time at No. 6. Other first-timers include James Harden of the Houston Rockets (No. 12) and Paul George of the Indiana Pacers (No. 14). George joins Jermaine O'Neal (No. 13 in December 2005) and Reggie Miller (No. 8 in December 2002) as the only Pacers to crack the top 15 since 2001, the year the league started tracking jersey sales.
"If people love the way I play the game of basketball, love the way I inspire to be better, that's great," James said. "Every time I see someone in my jersey, a complete stranger, it's a wow factor. For me to be the No. 1 guy, to have the most jersey sales, it's crazy."
There's been a double-digit percentage growth in sales from last year, the league said.
And with two new versions of James' jersey either hitting or about to hit the marketplace, his numbers might keep growing. James' short-sleeved jersey -- the one teams will wear in Christmas games this year -- is expected to be a big seller, as will the Name Collection jersey, which the Heat and others will wear early next year bearing player nicknames on the back. James will go with "King James" on his jersey for those games.
Dwyane Wade is No. 7 on the list and is followed by Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook, Harden, Rajon Rondo, George and Michael Carter-Williams. Carter-Williams is the only rookie on the 15-player list.
James, who also had the most popular jersey worldwide this year, has held the No. 1 position five times on the league's list of domestic jersey sales.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.