Basketball / NBA

Rui Hachimura tops NBA jersey sales in Japan

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Rui Hachimura’s impact on Japanese basketball extends far beyond the court.

The Washington Wizards rookie forward’s No. 8 is the top-selling NBA jersey in Japan, it was announced by the NBA on Tuesday.

Jersey sales for Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry are second and third, respectively, followed by Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving and Houston Rockets guard James Harden.

The NBA has not released specific figures of jersey sales in Japan. For this list, rankings are based on e-commerce sales from the online NBA store in Japan, which is operated by Fanatics, starting at the beginning of the 2019-20 NBA campaign through the end of January.

That said, Hachimura’s No. 8 accounted for 24 percent of all jersey sales in the aforementioned time period.

In a November interview with The Japan Times, Wizards part owner Raul Fernandez described Hachimura as “an incredible human being, incredible athlete, a great ambassador for the Washington Wizards and for the NBA and a great ambassador for Japan.”

At the same time, Wizards gear represented 13 percent of all 30 NBA teams’ merchandise sales, making them the second-most popular team in terms of merchandise purchase in Japan. The Lakers top the list. The Warriors are third, the Nets are fourth and Mavericks fifth.

Rounding out the top 10 for jersey sales are Russell Westbrook (Houston Rockets), Anthony Davis (Lakers), Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks), Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers) and Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets).

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