Halt the funeral procession: the Los Angeles Lakers’ brand isn’t dead.
Despite reports to the contrary, the team’s losing ways hasn’t destroyed their popularity. The NBA announced on Tuesday that the Lakers’ merchandise was the third most popular of any team in the NBA, just behind the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors.
More impressively (and contrary to popular thought), the team has done so without a clear “superstar,” or any one player that fans have decided is their clear favorite. No Lakers player ranked in the top-15 most sold jerseys, according to the NBA.
How much longer fan goodwill will continue blindly if the Lakers continue to fall on their face every season remains an open question, but it appears that the team’s brand is just about as strong as could be reasonably expected given the circumstances.
You can read the NBA’s full release here. Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.