(AFP) – Aug 14, 2008
BEIJING (AFP) — US Olympic guard Kobe Bryant has the top selling jersey in China of any National Basketball Association player for the second year in a row, the league announced without revealing sales figures.
Bryant led the Los Angeles Lakers into the NBA Finals but they were beaten four games to two in the best-of-seven series by the Boston Celtics who have no players on the US team that is off to a 3-0 Olympic start.
Boston star big man Kevin Garnett, whose jersey in the top seller for US supporters, ranked second in China with Houston's Tracy McGrady - a teammate of Chinese 2.26m center Yao Ming, ranking third.
Paul Pierce, the Boston standout who was named Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals, jumped to fourth after not making the top 10 last year with Denver's Allen Iverson fifth.
Yao, a former top seller, slid from sixth to 10th on the list, seemingly meaning that most of those wanting a replica of his Rockets' uniform have already purchased one.
Washington's Gilbert Arenas ranked sixth this year, followed by Cleveland star LeBron James, Miami playmaker Dwyane Wade and Orlando center Dwight Howard. Wade, Howard and James are all on the US Olympic squad.
NBA souvenir sales revenues from China are expected to jump 60 percent this year, in part thanks to the first two NBA Stores located outside US cities opening in Beijing on July 15.
Shop sales were 70 percent ahead of projections in the first two weeks of operation and that was before tourists from around the world began arriving for the Olympics.
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