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Lakers, LeBron top NBA sales as Giannis, Doncic rise

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New York (AFP)

LeBron James and his Los Angeles Lakers remain the top moneyspinners in NBA jersey and team merchandise sales with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic reaching new popularity heights in 2019.

Figures announced Friday by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) showed James and the Lakers atop the lists for the second consecutive year, based on online NBA Store sales from October through December 2019.

No purchase figures were given for any team, player or items.

James, a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player and three-time NBA champion, has paced jersey sales and kept the Lakers atop the team totals since leaving Cleveland for LA in July 2018.

James, who leads fan balloting for next month's NBA All-Star Game in Chicago, also leads the NBA in assists this season with 10.9 a game. He averages 25.4 points and 7.7 rebounds for the Lakers, who lead the Western Conference with a 33-8 record.

Milwaukee's Antetokounmpo, last year's NBA Most Valuable Player and the top Eastern Conference vote-getter in All-Star voting, ranks second in jersey sales, a career-best spot for the Greek star forward who has the Bucks sitting atop the NBA with a 37-6 record.

The "Greek Freak" is averaging 30.1 points, second in the NBA, as well as 6.2 rebounds and 7.5 assists a game.

Golden State's Stephen Curry, sidelined by injury most of this season, is third followed by Boston's Jayson Tatum and Houston's James Harden, the NBA scoring leader with 37.2 points a game.

Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic of Slovenia ranks sixth on the jersey sales list, his career high in the sales rankings.

Kawhi Leonard, who left the NBA champion Toronto Raptors for the Los Angeles Clippers between seasons, ranked seventh, followed by Anthony Davis of the Lakers, Cameroonian star Joel Embiid of Philadelphia and Brooklyn's Kyrie Irving.

Australian playmaker Ben Simmons of Philadelphia was 11th followed by injured Kevin Durant, who left Golden State for Brooklyn, Houston's Russell Westbrook, Boston's Kemba Walker and injured rookie Zion Williamson of New Orleans, who has yet to make his NBA regular-season debut.

On the team merchandise list, the Lakers are followed by Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto and Milwaukee. Golden State is sixth followed in order by Houston, Chicago, Miami and Brooklyn, which made the top 10 for the first time since 2014.

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