As the Bucks and Suns battle in the NBA Finals, the Greek Freak and D-Book’s jerseys have seen their popularity explode.
Jersey sales are one indicator of which ways players and teams are trending with fans. It seems the postseason runs the two teams in the NBA Finals have made caused a bit of a shift in the newly-released sales numbers. covering the second half of the 2020-21 season.
Based on data from the official NBA Store’s website gathered between March 11 through July 13, the big takeaway comes with an NBA Finals twist: Both Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Phoenix’s Devin Booker emerge as the biggest winners since the last rankings were released.
While the Greek Freak has been a mainstay among the league’s top five fits for a handful of years now, he moved up from No. 5 to No. 2 in player jersey sales. But Booker, who’s currently announcing himself as a superstar thanks to the Suns’ remarkable run to the Finals, has come out of nowhere to vault into the top 10. He checks in at No. 6, moving up an incredible 12 spots from his No. 18 position in March.
Naturally, all-world superstars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving have long since cemented their residencies in the jersey sales penthouse. But with the case of Booker, who is younger than anyone in the top 10 outside of Boston’s Jayson Tatum, we’re witnessing a leap that very much parallels the one he’s taken on the hardwood this year.
In his very first trip to the NBA playoffs, and he and his Phoenix Suns won the Western Conference up against serious odds and are now just two wins away from the franchise’s first-ever NBA championship. Booker put forth incredible scoring outbursts against the Lakers, Nuggets, and Clippers en route to the Finals all while pulling up to the games in style, super-charging the growth of his personal brand.
Based on how the NBA Finals ultimately play out, these numbers stand to get a major offseason jolt. The Bucks and Suns, currently deadlocked at two games apiece in the series, are both in the top five in the team jersey sales tally: Phoenix at No. 3, Milwaukee at No. 4.
That puts them ahead of iconic NBA brands like the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, and Chicago Bulls.
For Giannis, it’s more evidence of his emerging status as one of this generation’s true NBA greats. For Book, it’s a sign that he’s no longer a “young, rising star” in the league — he’s just a premier baller, period.
And when one of them hoists the Larry O’Brien Trophy for the first time later this month, watch their status escalate.