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Kobe Bryant tops China's NBA wish list; Yao Ming a distant 10th

August 12, 2008 |  1:29 pm

China's Ming Yao, left, walks next to Kobe Bryant during the China/U.S. basketball game.

Sports fans are sports fans, regardless, it seems, of the country.

When Brett Favre was traded to the New York Jets last week, football fans bought more than 6,500 Favre jerseys through the NFLshop.com website. That shattered the old NFL one-day sales record of 900 set by Tony Romo during a Thanksgiving Day sale.

And, on Tuesday, the NBA reported that Kobe Bryant's jersey remains the most popular NBA apparel in China. NBA Champion Boston Celtics players Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, moved into the top five, and the homegrown Yao Ming fell from sixth to tenth.

The NBA hasn't released a dollar figure, but it claims that year-to-year revenue from branded merchandise has risen by 60%.

Fans who opt to buy legitimate merchandise can do so at 30,000 retail locations throughout China. In July, the NBA opened its first two NBA Stores located outside the United States -- yes, both are in Beijing. NBA and Adidas also have 29 basketball shops in China.

The top NBA jerseys for the last two years in China are after the jump.

Top jerseys in China for 2007/08 
1) Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
2) Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics
3) Tracy McGrady, Houston Rockets
4) Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics
5) Allen Iverson, Denver Nuggets
6) Gilbert Arenas, Washington Wizards
7) LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
8) Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
9) Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
10) Yao Ming, Houston Rockets

Top jerseys in China for 2006-2007
1) Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
2) Allen Iverson, Denver Nuggets
3) Tracy McGrady, Houston Rockets
4) Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
5) LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
6) Yao Ming, Houston Rockets
7) Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves
8) Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
9) Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets
10) Gilbert Arenas, Washington Wizards

-- Greg Johnson

Photo: Yao Ming, left, walks next to Kobe Bryant during the China-U.S. basketball game Sunday in Beijing. Credit: Gabriel Buoys / AFP/Getty Images

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