The NBA Is In Love With Kristaps Porzingis: Ranked Fourth In Jersey Sales

There are no boos geared towards Knicks 7’3″ rookie Kristaps Porzingis these days. ESPN has reported that the fourth round pick of the 2015 NBA draft now has the fourth best-selling jersey in the NBA.

The list accounts for jersey sales through October 1- December 31 purchased on NBAstore.

Porzingis is the only rookie listed among the top 15 best sellers and beat out talents such as Kevin Durant (5), Russell Westbrook (7), James Harden(9), and his own teammate Carmelo Anthony (15).

To no surprise, the leading jersey seller belongs to sharp-shooting MVP, Steph Curry, followed by LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant, who sits third in his final season in the NBA.

It’s interesting to see whether Kobe surpasses Curry and James as the season progresses as more and more fans begin to pay tribute to an all-time great’s last season.

According to ESPN’s report, the reigning NBA champ Golden State Warriors are listed as the most popular team in terms of merchandise being sold. That comes as no surprise as the team consists of a bunch of young superstars that are on pace to break the 1996 Chicago Bulls regular season record of 72-10.

CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 18: Stephen Curry #30 and Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors joke on the bench during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on January 18, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 132-98. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***Stephen Curry; Draymond Green

The other four teams that round off the top five are the Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, and New York Knicks, respectively.

After recording their worst season in franchise history, the New York Knicks fell to the fourth pick in this past years NBA draft. Knicks fans were heartbroken knowing that they would miss out on one of the three sure shot superstars in Karl Anthony-Towns, D’Angelo Russell, and Jahlil Okafor.

When commissioner Adam Silver announced the name Kristaps Porzingis as the Knicks fourth pick in the NBA draft, no one knew how to react or really cared for the pick. So they booed. Not only did the Knicks just endure the worst season ever, but the reward that was supposed to come out of that pain wasn’t to Knick fans liking.

Analysts and Knick coaches knew Porzingis had upside, “but why!?” Knick fans were exclaiming. The pain of an embarrassing season and losing out on a top three pick was too much for Knick fans, so they took it out on Porzingis on draft night.

“I’ll have to find a way to turn those boo’s into cheers” was Kristaps response to the dissatisfaction on draft night.

Not only has he turned Knick fans boos into cheers, he’s turned their team into a legitimate playoff contender with the help of some off-season pick ups and a team-first version of Carmelo Anthony.

While providing the Knicks with a new sense of purpose, Porzingis has proved himself worthy of an NBA rookie-of-the-year award mid-way through the season; Averaging 14 points per game along with 8 rebounds and 2 blocks.

The Knicks currently sit 10th in the east at 21-22 and are just a game and a half out of the eight spot in a surprisingly decent Eastern conference. They’ve been playing better than their record these past 10 games, going 6-4 despite not having Carmelo Anthony for two games, and people around the league, including ABC analyst Jeff Van Gundy, are beginning to take notice of their legitimacy as a possible playoff team.

“I love Porzingis. I love everything about how he’s handled his situation, love his game, love his mental makeup,” Van Gundy said during a media conference call promoting ABC’s Saturday NBA games. “I think they will make the playoffs. I think they’re a really good team.”

[AP Photo/Seth Wenig]