Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Kobe's No. 24 most popular jersey
ESPN.com news services
Best player in the league? That's for NBA nation to argue, but there's no debate that, when it comes to NBA merchandise, Kobe Bryant has the most popular player jersey.
Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers' 11-time All-Star, regained the top spot on the NBA's list, bumping 2008 No. 1 Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics to second.
Bryant had the most popular jersey in 2007. The Lakers are a Western Conference-best 35-9 this season.
The league's rankings are based on sales at the NBA Store in New York City and NBAStore.com since the start of the 2008-09 season through January 2009.
Two seasons ago, Bryant changed from No. 8 to No. 24. The switch probably had a lot to do with his moving up from fourth to first in jersey sales.
LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers held the No. 3 spot on the list for the second consecutive season. Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets and Allen Iverson of the Detroit Pistons held the fourth and fifth spots.
Pau Gasol, Bryant's teammate, shot up to No. 6 on the list, up from 15th a year ago.
According to a league press release Tuesday, December was the best sales month in history for both the NBA Store and NBAStore.com, with combined sales up 10 percent over the same time period last year.