NEW YORK, March 20, 2007 – Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers has taken over as the top selling NBA jersey in China. Bryant, who also has the top selling jersey in the U.S. this year, was ranked fourth last season in China.

Bryant is followed by Denver Nuggets guard Allen Iverson and Houston Rockets guard Tracy McGrady, who visited China this summer with adidas. Rounding out the top five is Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, both of whom also visited China this past summer as part of USA Basketball’s Senior National Team training. China’s Yao Ming, from the Houston Rockets, ranks sixth on the list, down from third last year.

The rankings are based on sales from retail stores throughout China from the start of the 2006-07 season through the All-Star break. adidas, who signed an 11-year partnership with the NBA last April, is the official provider of NBA jerseys in China.

2006-07 Top Selling Jerseys in China 2005-06 Top Selling Jerseys in China
1) Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers 1) Tracy McGrady, Houston Rockets
2) Allen Iverson, Nuggets/76ers 2) Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers
3) Tracy McGrady, Houston Rockets 3) Yao Ming, Houston Rockets
4) Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat 4) Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
5) LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers 5) LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
6) Yao Ming, Houston Rockets 6) Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets
7) Kevin Garnett, Minnesota T'wolves 7) Kevin Garnett, Minnesota T'wolves
8) Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs 8) Shaquille O'Neal, Miami Heat
9) Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets 9) Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns
10) Gilbert Arenas, Washington Wizards 10) Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat

More than 400 million NBA products were sold in over 20,000 retail locations throughout China and retail sales this year are expected to increase by more than 50%. The NBA and adidas, one of the league’s 16 marketing partners in China, are working together to open ten NBA Stores in the country by the end of the year. With 300 million people playing basketball, 83% of people ages 15-24 saying they’re NBA fans and 20% of traffic to coming from China, basketball is rapidly growing in popularity. The league is now offering NBA broadcasts on 51 television stations, up from 32 last year.