NBA Store Sells Out of LeBron James Cavaliers Jerseys

Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistJuly 20, 2014

AP Images

Want to celebrate LeBron James' return to Northeast Ohio with a Cleveland Cavaliers replica home, away or alternate jersey?

Well, you can't. 

At least not right now, per ESPN's Darren Rovell:

So much for James' indecision serving as a jersey-sale deterrent.

Although he came to a definitive decision regarding which team he would continue his career with, James has taken to social media for help with his jersey number:

Keeping us in the dark hasn't slowed the rate at which consumers are purchasing James' gear. That's how powerful he is; how polarizing he is.

That's how popular he is, as Bleacher Report's Tyler Conway explains:

In a poll released Thursday by Harris Interactive, the Cleveland Cavaliers forward passed His Airness for the honor for the first time in his 11-year career. Jordan, who has not played basketball in more than a decade, still comes in at No. 2. Jordan had topped the poll from 1993-2005 and was No. 1 again last year. Harris surveyed 2,241 adults online between June 11 and 16 to come up with the final tallies.

Having achieved such fame, and having just returned to the city where he began his NBA career, it's hardly surprising that James' Cavaliers jerseys are flying off (virtual) shelves. 

Anytime prominent players switch teams, it creates a feeding frenzy. Though James is merely returning to his old club—which should, in theory, mean fans are able to bust out old jerseys and save themselves some scratch—many Clevelanders are tasked with replacing years-old Cavaliers attire.

When James first joined the Miami Heat, more than a few disgruntled Cavs fans took to the streets, burning the King's jerseys in response to his betrayal. 

"I’m ready to accept the challenge," James told Sports Illustrated's Lee Jenkins of his return. "I’m coming home."

Just like that, James has been forgiven.

Forgiveness, though, is expensive.

Setting those uniforms ablaze is going to cost fans now. Replacements must be purchased—new on-court garments that will run fans as much as $300, according to Rovell.

If anyone is worth such a price, it's James, whose impact on Cleveland stretches well beyond the basketball court, as The Washington Post's Roberto A. Ferdman details:

Of course, LeBron's words — downplaying championships and emphasizing the Cleveland community — could be more about publicity than public good. But if he's even half as serious as he claims about engaging with the city's youth and taking that community under his wing, his return could have enormous positive repercussions for a part of America that's been particularly down on its luck since he left.

Whatever James' return actually winds up meaning, Cleveland's luck already appears to be on the up and up.

As does James' popularity.

For those who already bought their new jerseys, rest easy. 

Everyone else better start saving up.

Or get used to the idea of donning outdated and tattered attire that shows a little skin: