LeBron James is still the King. At least when it comes to selling basketball shoes. While he may not win his fifth MVP award or the NBA Championship again this year, there is little doubt that he is this era’s Michael Jordan when it comes to putting feet in his signature sneakers.
Speaking of His Airness, Michael Jordan played his last game in the NBA on April 16, 2003. Yet, according to a new report by Forbes, he is ranked number five on the list of the NBA’s top shoe sellers beating out basketball stars like Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, James Harden and even Kobe Bryant.
The Adidas-sponsored Harden doesn’t crack the top five players in the “performance”-oriented basketball category, according to data from market research firm NPD Group. Nike athletes Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant ranked second and third, respectively, for signature shoe sales last year.
Steph Curry was the only non-Nike branded NBA player to break into the top five in 2017 ranking fourth with his signature Under Armour shoes.
Overall in 2017, the basketball shoe market fell 13.6 percent, however, sales of sports leisure styles were up 17 percent. Meanwhile, the retro shoe business is more than three times the size of performance basketball with Jordan Brand grabbing a 65 percent share of the market. Nike had 23 percent of the market, Adidas took 9.3 percent and Puma, 2.3 percent.
As for the one company to crack the top five other than Nike, NPD reported that dollar sales for Under Armour performance basketball were off 39 percent in 2017, with its market share falling to 12.1 percent, from 17.2 percent.
1. LeBron James
2. Kyrie Irving
3. Kevin Durant
4. Steph Curry
5. Michael Jordan
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