Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum reacts to passing LeBron on NBA jersey sales list

Tatum's star continues to rise among some of the best players of his generation.

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What if we told you that Jayson Tatum has become more popular than LeBron James?

That may or may or may not be true, but the Boston Celtics star has surpassed King James in at least one popularity metric. The NBA revealed its top-selling jerseys for the first half of the 2023-24 regular season Tuesday, and Tatum ranks second overall, trailing Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry but ahead of James, Victor Wembanyama and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Tatum already has cemented himself as an NBA superstar; he'll make his fifth consecutive All-Star appearance and fourth consecutive All-Star start in Indiana next month, and he's the only player in NBA history to increase his scoring, rebound and assist averages in each of his first six seasons.

Still, the 25-year-old had a "pinch me" moment when he saw his name ahead of James at No. 2 on this list.

Tatum should get used to being among the NBA's most popular players, especially since he plays on one of the league's most popular teams. Only the Los Angeles Lakers sold more team merchandise than the Celtics through the first half of the season, per the NBA.

You could make the case that Tatum's teammate, Jaylen Brown, should crack the top 15 on the above list -- we wouldn't be surprised if he just missed the cut -- but Tatum is the clear No. 1 on the NBA-leading Celtics, who boast a 36-11 record after their comeback win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night.

If Tatum and his teammates can complete their mission of winning an NBA title in June, perhaps he could challenge Curry for the top spot.

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