Welcome to our (belated) December Jersey Power Rankings. Seattle lost the rest of their dominance this month, with surges from both the NBA and a certain former Seahawk. Without any further ado…
5th: Dikembe Mutombo
A big surge from the retired Denver big man this week, as his jersey was requested over four times as much in December as it was in November. A late push from his Throwback Thursday appearance? Hard to tell, but as the writer of that piece, I’m going to go ahead and say “yes, absolutely.”
4th: Steph Curry
The greatest shooter in NBA history is also now (currently) the best performing Warrior in Rep the Squad history. He’s been absolutely dominant within the Bay, too, tripling teammate (and fellow MVP) Kevin Durant’s numbers. KD may get more of the national headlines these days, but longtime Warriors fans are loyal, and they haven’t forgotten that Curry brought them their first title since 1975 by beating KD, not by passing to him.
3rd: Marshawn Lynch
Beast Mode lit it up in December, both on the field and, consequently, in our jersey rankings. Easily his best statistical month of the season, December saw Marshawn up his yards per carry average to a stellar 5.1 (only Alvin Kamara averaged more for the full season), on a significantly-higher-than-average 84 attempts. While it didn’t do much for Oakland’s record—they won only once in the month—or Lynch’s scoring totals (just two TDs over five games), it definitely bodes well for next season where Lynch will presumably return alongside a hopefully healthy Derek Carr and new coach John Gruden.
2nd: Grant Hill
Another November Throwback Thursday star seeing his jersey jump up the chart, another chance for me to take credit for it. More realistically, our Detroit fanbase may have fled to the safety of nostalgia-land with the Lions blowing a winnable—and potentially playoff-clinching—game against the Bengals and the current Pistons slowing down after a hot start. Whatever the reason, you can hardly blame Detroit for repping Hill; there haven’t been many more electrifying and likeable stars in NBA history, never mind in Motor City.
1st: Steve Largent
Speaking of nostalgia picks, the Seahawks held onto the top spot in our rankings for another month, but they did it thanks to a man who retired decades ago. As Seattle’s season fell apart, more and more 12s looked to the halcyon days of yester-year (Kennedy and Easley both also had strong Decembers). Largent makes the third and final throwback on our list (and the third and final player we’ve spotlighted in our Throwback Thursday series), as vintage players put up a strong showing for the second month in a row.
A lot of teams didn’t quite crack the top five this week, but that didn’t mean they didn’t have popular players climbing their charts. In San Francisco, Reuben Foster finally ended Jerry Rice’s stranglehold on the #1 49ers jersey. Meanwhile, Gary Payton was one of the most popular overall NBA jerseys, despite the Sonics nearing a decade of non-existence. Elsewhere in our rankings, Darius Slay stayed atop the pile for the Lions, and Von Miller edged out Demaryius Thomas in Denver. As for our newest team, Lonzo Ball was the most requested Laker by a landslide, but we’re talking about a pretty small sample size there, so we’ll see if it holds.
That’s all for now. See you next month!