The NBA is a star-oriented league. As much as the fans enjoy the competition, and watching the sport, they tune in to watch the stars. Players like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant are some of the biggest names across sports and popular culture. The way these players perform on a nightly basis garners a lot of interest from the audience.
But who are the most popular players in the NBA? While there is no direct or simple way to measure this, there is another metric to help us determine this: jersey sales. Recently, Marc Stein revealed on Twitter the 15 most popular player jerseys in the NBA. And the names on the list come as no surprise.
Despite being in his 18th season, LeBron James tops the list at number one. Following him was Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is a two-time MVP and a Defensive Player of the Year. Kevin Durant is the third name on the list, followed by Luka Doncic and Jayson Tatum, two of the fastest-rising young stars in the league.
What comes as a surprise is a fact that Stephen Curry and James Harden are absent from the top five of this list. Curry enters the list at number seven, behind Devin Booker. Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Damian Lillard round off the top-10 of this list. Finally, some younger stars such as Trae Young, Joel Embiid, Anthony Davis, Ja Morant, and Kawhi Leonard rounded off the rest of the list.
Perhaps this list will indicate to the world that the NBA is witnessing a changing of the guard. So many young players have entered the NBA in the last decade and made their way into this list. Young players like Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Jayson Tatum, and Devin Booker have become some of the most popular stars in the league. And as we move into a new era in the NBA, these players will be the faces of the league.