Top 10 best selling NBA jerseys

Sport360 staff 14/04/2017

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has announced that two-time reigning MVP Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors has the top selling jersey based on NBAStore.eu sales since the beginning of the 2016-17 NBA season.

Curry, the NBA’s first ever unanimous MVP, has helped raise the profile of the Golden State Warriors, who top the list in terms of team merchandise sales, followed by the NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers and some of the most iconic NBA franchises including the Chicago Bulls, the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics has appeared in the Top 10 for the first time ever after a fantastic season where he has averaged over 29 points per game, ranking second in the league, preceded only by the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook.

Thomas has led the Celtics to the Atlantic Division title for the first time in five years, as well as battling for the top seed in the Eastern Conference with Cleveland, with just one game remaining in the regular season. The point guard’s fourth quarter heroics has seen his popularity rise, ranking No. 8 in the list of the most popular jerseys.

Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook’s record-breaking season has led to his jersey being ranked No. 4 on the list. He recently broke Oscar Robertson’s 55-year-old record of 41 triple-doubles in a season with 42, and also averaged a triple-double for the season with 31.9 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game.

Westbrook is only the second player ever to achieve this feat after the Big O and is dominating MVP discussions as a result.

Fellow MVP candidate James Harden of the Houston Rockets has also proven to be one of the most popular names in the NBA.

The Rockets guard is averaging over 29 points per game and has led his team to 54 wins with only the Western Conference powerhouses Golden State and San Antonio ahead of them. Harden rounds out the list of most popular NBA jerseys at No. 10.

View the entire top 10 in the gallery above.

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Detroit Pistons celebrate their last game at the Palace of Auburn Hills

Laith Malhas 12/04/2017
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During the Detroit Pistons game against the Washington Wizards on Monday night, former Pistons legend Dennis Rodman delivered the game ball to the team in a brief pre-game gesture.

Afterward, the half-time ceremony brought in former players from the championship teams, most notably; Isiah Thomas and Rick Mahorn, Ben Wallace, and Chauncey Billups, along with Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton.

The players gathered around three Larry O’Brien trophies at center court and received a standing ovation from thousands of fans. The current team fell to the Wizards 105-101, but the night was about celebrating the legends of the past and their accomplishments.

The Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan has been home to the Detroit Pistons for the past 29 years. The team moved to the suburb area in 1989, when the Bad Boy Pistons won their first championship led by Thomas and Joe Dumars. Subsequently, the Bad Boys ended up winning back-to-back titles and sparked the beginning of a winning tradition in Detroit.

The next championship season would come in 2004 when the Pistons upset the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. Led by Billups and Wallace, the team managed to close the series at the Palace, reaching the peak of the NBA and celebrating with fans that were hungry for a title in Detroit.

They would return to the Finals the next year and ultimately lose to the San Antonio Spurs in a hard fought seven-game series. The team would never return to the NBA Finals but reached the Eastern Conference Finals in six consecutive seasons, before trading away their captain and point guard Billups in 2008.

The Palace will also be remembered for the infamous ‘Malice at the Palace’ when a huge brawl broke out between the Indiana Pacers players and fans in the arena. The melee was a black eye for the league at the time.

However, swift punishment was dealt out to the players involved in the incident which set the precedent for a stricter NBA.

Pistons fans will remember the Palace of Auburn Hills as an arena that hosted three championship banners and a lifetime full of basketball memories.

The team will be moving to the Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit next season and will be sharing the facility with the Detroit Red Wings, one of the most successful hockey franchises in NHL history.

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COMMENT: Westbrook has cemented his MVP case

Jay Asser 11/04/2017
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On fire: Russell Westbrook.

The 28-year-old plays like a man who won’t be denied, so it’s fitting he’s put together a tour de force season that makes it difficult to deny him the MVP either.

In any other year, Westbrook’s case wouldn’t even be up for discussion, but because this campaign has seen several players have career seasons and perform at such high levels, we’re somehow left deliberating whether a man averaging 31.9 points, 10.4 assists and 10.7 rebounds has been the best player.

Or, it should be clarified, the player who has produced the most this season. The title of best basketball player is already held in a vice-like grip by LeBron James. But there’s a reason why James doesn’t win MVP and Gregg Popovich doesn’t earn Coach of the Year every season – they’re season awards, not generational honours.

And yet, James is still in the discussion due to the monster 2016-17 he’s had, along with other top candidates James Harden and Kawhi Leonard. You could hand the MVP to any of the four and be justified, but it’s become harder and harder to look past Westbrook.

In theory, it’s weird not to have your MVP picked out this late into the season, as if a handful of games will make a difference on a year-long award. But that’s how difficult it’s been to distinguish one MVP frontrunner from the other.

Any voter that was left undecided, however, has likely been swayed by Westbrook’s tidal wave during this month, which has included him locking up the first triple-double average for a season since Oscar Robertson in 1961-62, before breaking the Big O’s record for most triple-doubles in a campaign.

Westbrook not only set the mark though, but did it in spectacular, storybook fashion by knocking down a 36-footer at the buzzer to eliminate the Denver Nuggets from playoff contention and cap off a jaw-dropping stat line of 50 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists.

Forget the triple-doubles for a second and eliminate all the rebounds he’s grabbing – which could be considered ‘stat padding’ or inconsequential – and you still have to marvel at the fact he’s scored 40 points or more while dishing at least nine assists four times in the past seven games.

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Meanwhile, James’ Cavaliers have continued to struggle post All-Star break, Harden’s efficiency has dipped and Leonard has remained, well, Leonard. If this was a horse race, Westbrook would be pulling ahead in the home stretch by a head.

Individual play isn’t the only factor though and Harden has somewhat of a point in saying: “I thought winning is what this is about – period.”

The irony behind Harden’s comment is that while it appeared aimed at Westbrook, it strengthens Leonard’s case, with the Spurs winners of 60-plus games and above Houston in the standings.

But winning is also what Westbrook has done, almost single=handedly, in carrying Oklahoma City to the playoffs after the departure of one of the five best players in the world in Kevin Durant. The minus-13.1 net rating difference when Westbrook plays and is off the court speaks for itself.

When we look back at this season, there’s no single player we’ll remember more than Westbrook. The definitive MVP case is being on the right side of history.

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