He is an NBA legend, a champion many times over, an Olympic gold medalist, and is recognizable almost anywhere on the globe — Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant.
Bryant has dazzled crowds, put on legendary performances, and though many sure love to hate him (mainly due to his overwhelming arrogance) there is no doubt he is one of the NBA’s most popular and iconic players.
And it is that popularity across the world which has made Bryant’s jersey the top selling jersey internationally (outside the United States) according to the NBA (via press release).
The National Basketball Association (NBA) today released its first-ever overall international top selling jerseys list and five-time NBA Champion Kobe Bryant has the most popular NBA jersey internationally. The top 15 list was based on sales at adidas locations outside the United States during the 2011-12 NBA season.
Chicago’s Derrick Rose, Miami’s LeBron James, Boston’s Kevin Garnett and Orlando’s Dwight Howard, round out the top five. The list features three players in the NBA Finals: James, Dwyane Wade and Kevin Durant. International stars such as Los Angeles Lakers’ Pau Gasol from Spain, Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki from Germany, San Antonio’s Tony Parker from France, and Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio from Spain made the top 15.
The NBA also announced the top five selling jerseys in key regions: China, Europe and Latin America. In China, Bryant has the top selling jersey for the sixth straight season while Rose moves up to No. 2. Bryant had the top selling jersey in Europe and Latin America this season.
Aside from Bryant’s jersey topping the list, this just shows you how much the NBA has grown outside the US. What was once thought to be a purely American game, has truly spread across the world. From China, South America, Europe and many other parts of the globe, the NBA and its fans can be found everywhere. Perhaps one day we will see expansion into foreign markets and have divisions with teams abroad.