The hype is real. Despite not having made his debut this season, Ben Simmons' popularity has overshadowed other established stars like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard, when it comes to jersey sales.
The NBA announced its top ten best selling jerseys online for the Australia region today. Many familiar names made the list, most of them even expected. Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors made top spot, followed by LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).
However, Ben Simmons' appearance on this list was an outlier, especially at the fourth spot. Not only is he the only player who's not an All-Star, he has also not played a single minute in an NBA season game in the 2016-/17 NBA season. Simmons, who was drafted at the #1 spot in the recent NBA draft, suffered an untimely foot injury last year.
He has however, recently received the green light and will very likely play next season at the point guard position.
"I'm with that," Simmons --who has been getting ready for his new role-- said in a recent news conference, according to Keith Pompey of the The Inquirer. "I want to be a leader. Challenge-wise, you know - just playing, it's going to be tough. I definitely want to learn it."
Two Australian NBA teams featured in most popular team merchandise
When it came to best selling team merchandise, two NBA teams with Australians were featured. The Philadelphia 76ers --Simmons' influence likely being a part of its merchandise success-- were placed third, while the Milwaukee Bucks came in at fifth place. Matthew Dellavedova and Thon Maker --both a part of the Bucks' core rotation-- performed excellently in Milwaukee's recent road victory against the Toronto Raptors in the first game of the Toronto-Milwaukee playoffs series.
Top 10 selling NBA jerseys
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
Dwyane Wade, Chicago Bulls
Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
Top 5 most popular teams
Golden State Warriors
*Rankings are based on combined ecommerce sales from NBAStore.com.au and Australian-bound NBAStore.com since the beginning of the 2016/17 NBA season.