Giannis jumps, Suns rise but LeBron, Lakers top NBA sales

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Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns drives to he basket against Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 3 of the 2021 NBA Finals at Fiserv Forum on July 11, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Getty Images via AFP)

NEW YORK  – Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Phoenix Suns rose in NBA merchandise sales but LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers remained on top in league figures released Wednesday.

The NBA and its players union announced that four-time NBA champion James led jersey sales and his 2020 NBA champion Lakers were still the hottest money spinner in merchandise sales.

A new movie starring four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James, “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” opens Friday.

Cast member Lebron James attends the premiere for the film Space Jam: A New Legacy in Los Angeles, California, U.S. July 12, 2021.

Cast member Lebron James attends the premiere for the film Space Jam: A New Legacy in Los Angeles, California, U.S. July 12, 2021. (REUTERS)

No purchase totals or financial figures were made public from online sales made through the league store from March 11 through Tuesday.

Just behind James in jersey sales was Antetokounmpo, who matched his top sales rankings at second by leaping three spots above where he ranked in the first half of a Covid-shortened season that began in December.

Brooklyn had three players in the top 10 of jersey sales, led by Kevin Durant in third with Kyrie Irving eighth and James Harden ninth, just ahead of Portland’s Damian Lillard.

Slovenian star Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks ranked fourth in jersey sales followed by Boston’s Jayson Tatum, Phoenix guard Devin Booker and Golden State’s Stephen Curry.

Greek star Antetokounmpo, a two-time NBA MVP, has generated more than 22.8 million engagements on his Instagram account this season, ranking fourth among current NBA players behind James, Curry and Lillard.

Content on NBA social media platforms regarding Antetokounmpo has generated more than 131 million views worldwide, with 65% of team pass subscribers selecting the Bucks, fans in Greece overwhelmingly selecting Antetokounmpo’s team to follow.

Booker, who helped the Suns reach the NBA Finals against Milwaukee, rose 12 places to sixth on the jersey list.

That helped the Suns move from 19th to third on the overall team merchandise sales list, trailing only the Lakers and Brooklyn and finishing just ahead of Milwaukee, which jumped six spots above where they were in March.

At 11th, Atlanta’s Trae Young reached a career-best on the jersey sales list.

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