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Raptors, Yuta Watanabe top merchandise sales in Japan

Brandon Wong
·Writer
·2 min read
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Yuta Watanabe has secured the No. 1 spot as the NBA’s most popular jersey in Japan for the second time in his career, while the Toronto Raptors claimed the top spot in team merchandise, according to sales from the official online NBA store in Japan.

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This year, Watanabe’s jersey sales put him ahead of Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Rui Hachimura, LeBron James, Luka Doncic, Chris Paul, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Carmelo Anthony and LaMelo Ball.

Watanabe also held the No. 1 spot in Japan during his year with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2019.

After signing a two-way contract in the offseason, the 26-year-old forward instantly became a fan favourite for his hustle, hard work and energy on the court.

Watanabe has worked his way into the Raptors’ rotation this season with appearances in 22 games, including his first NBA career start against the Detroit Pistons this month. He is playing 12.2 minutes per game while averaging 2.7 points and 3.2 rebounds.

Meanwhile, the Raptors made their first appearance on the team merchandising list, claiming the No. 1 spot ahead of the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards.

Yuta Watanabe's No. 18 Raptors jersey is a bestseller in Japan. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Yuta Watanabe's No. 18 Raptors jersey is a bestseller in Japan. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

As the second half of the season approaches, the Raptors are in the eighth spot in the East with a 17-19 record and will look to get back on track against the Atlanta Hawks this Thursday.

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