Today in USA Today, it reported that, based on the NBAStore.com's numbers, LeBron James had the best-selling jersey of the 2010-2011 season. In fact, this marks the very first time James had led the league in jersey sales, finally besting Kobe Bryant.
Now, who amongst us are surprised at this, and a better question yet, why?
Were we not convinced that The Decision debacle, coupled with the amazingly clueless Welcome Party, that LeBron had become persona non grata? That his Q-rating would fall into the basement? Did we not all have an answer for LeBron when he asked us what he should do?
I think that this story makes our worlds collide because public perception has collided with reality. Regardless of how badly James mishandled his career with his transition to the Heat, regardless of whether or not he's sharing the spotlight, or whether the team hasn't lived up to expectations, all of those reasons that we've offered as to why James isn't "The Man" anymore simply do not matter. Money talks, and LeBron is king. Frankly, I'm surprised Kobe held him off for that long. It wasn't that long ago that Kobe himself was in the public perception gutter. Or so we thought.
But hey, Kevin Durant at #7! Way to go, Kev!