So here’s the list:
1. Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers
2. Kevin Garnett – Boston Celtics
3. LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers
4. Chris Paul – New Orleans Hornets
5. Allen Iverson – Detroit Pistons
6. Pau Gasol – Los Angeles Lakers
7. Paul Pierce – Boston Celtics
8. Dwyane Wade – Miami Heat
9. Derrick Rose – Chicago Bulls
10. Nate Robinson – New York Knicks
11. Steve Nash – Phoenix Suns
12. Dwight Howard- Orlando Magic
13. Ray Allen – Boston Celtics
14. David Lee – New York Knicks
15. Carmelo Anthony – Denver Nuggets
Kobe Garnett (with an added boost from the Boston fan base) and LeBron are easy to see. It’s a tribute to Chris Paul and his game that he’s in the top five. Allen Iverson will always be strong as well.
But the next 10 is filled with players you might not expect and it comes down to their markets. Nate Robinson and David Lee? They’re all right, but never players who would roll off the tip of the tongue when considering popularity. The NYC faithful really love their basketball and is one reason why the Madison Square Garden is considered a mecca for hoops fans.
The only other surprise for me is Ray Allen. He’s decent, but doesn’t have the flash usually associated with jersey collectors.
I am wondering how Yao Ming didn’t make the list considering his idol status in China, but I think that goes back to other countries not buying into the jersey buying/collecting fever we have in the U.S.
Anybody else see any surprises here?