The Heat plays exhibition games against the New Jersey Nets in Paris on Thursday and again in London on Sunday, but guard Dwyane Wade’s jersey is no longer No. 1 in Europe. Wade had the top-selling jersey in Europe during the 2006-07 season, but fell to No. 8 last year.
Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant’s jersey topped the list in Europe for the 2007-08 season, according to the NBA. This year five European players are in the top 10, including Pau Gasol (Spain) of the Lakers; Tony Parker (France) of the San Antonio Spurs; and Andrea Bargnani (Italy) of the Toronto Raptors. Newcomers on the list are Marco Belinelli (Italy) of the Golden State Warriors and Jose Calderon (Spain) of the Raptors.
International players account for about 20 percent of NBA rosters. International sales make up more than a quarter of the league’s global merchandise business. And international visitors represent about 40 percent of the customers at the NBA Store in Manhattan.
The top 10 best-selling jerseys in Europe last season were:
1. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
2. Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics
3. Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers
4. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
5. Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
6. Allen Iverson, Denver Nuggets
7. Andrea Bargnani, Toronto Raptors
8. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
9. Marco Belinelli, Golden State Warriors
10. Jose Calderon, Toronto Raptors