Well, isn’t this special...
The NBA announced their midseason merchandise sales rankings on Friday and to no one’s surprise, the jerseys of new Net stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are quite popular — even with one missing 26 games and the other not playing at all.
Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant’s new Brooklyn Nets jerseys are the 10th and 12th best sellers, respectively, in the NBA.— Billy Reinhardt (@BillyReinhardt) January 17, 2020
Nets as a team sit 10th. pic.twitter.com/Dk5LEfIUWS
Irving and Durant placed 10th and 12th in the NBA, respectively, in individual player jersey sales, helping the Nets place 10th league wide in total merchandise sales. It’s the first time since 2014 - when Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Joe Johnson ran the show - that Brooklyn has been in the top-10.
And look closer. There’s no Knick player in the top 15 and the Knicks as a team didn’t make the top 10 ... despite their arena being 10 blocks away from the NBA Store. No word on the last time that happened, but it’s been a while.
Not surprisingly, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Steph Curry topped the list, with a couple of newcomers — Boston’s Jayson Tatum and Dallas’ Luka Doncic — joining them in the top 15. Zion Williamson is the only rookie on the list.
Seven players, including KD and Kyrie, are sporting new uniforms this season and three— Durant, Curry and Williamson — have yet to play a game this year.
Surprisingly, not only did the Knicks not make the top 10. So did the Clippers although unlike New York, a Clipper player, Kawhi Leonard, finished in the top 15 among players, coming in at No. 7.
There’s no doubt Nets’ Kevin Durant would’ve likely placed higher if he was healthy and even Kyrie Irving as well if the Nets were in title contention ... like they should be next season. Last season, Irving and Durant placed fourth and eighth as Celtics and Warriors, respectively.
The popularity of Kyrie, not only in gear sales but in the All-Star voting, shows that despite a spate of negative publicity, he’s still a league-wide fan favorite. Similarly, the Nets dominance over the Knicks is part of a growing trend. As the Nets attendance and local TV ratings rise, the Knicks have plummeted.
Results are based on NBAStore.com sales from October 2019 through December 2019, the first quarter of the season. There’s no data publicly available on domestic vs. international sales, but five of the top 15 players were born outside the U.S.
It’s fair to say that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are the type of transcendent superstars that will have fan support and prestige from all over the world no matter where they play.
This will surely ease the concerns of those who wondered about fan support and marketing power and the two future Hall of Famers would have in Brooklyn after joining New York’s supposed No. 2 team, right?