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Bargnani Jersey Named Among The Most Popular In Eruope

(October 4, 2007) - Forward Andrea Bargnani was named among the 10 players whose jersey made the Top 10 Most Popular NBA Jersey’s in Europe list, released by the NBA on Thursday. Bargnani’s jersey ranked eighth overall based on sales from retail locations across Europe during the 2006-07 season.

During his first season in the NBA, Bargnani averaged 11.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in 65 games. The first overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team after capturing T-Mobile Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month honours in January and February.

Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat and Allen Iverson of the Denver Nuggets topped the list of the most popular NBA jerseys in Europe. Four European players were among the top eight, including Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs (No.3), Boris Diaw of the Phoenix Suns (No. 6), Pau Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies (No. 7) and Bargnani.

Gasol and Bargnani join six other European players participating in 2007 NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS™. The Raptors will face the Boston Celtics and Virtus Roma in Rome this weekend, followed by a game versus Real Madrid in Spain on October 11.

Sales of NBA merchandise in Europe increased 40 percent versus last season, with international sales accounting for 25 percent of the league’s overall global merchandise business. International players make up approximately 20 percent of NBA rosters.

As the NBA has increased in popularity around the world, international visitors to the NBA Store in New York City have increased as well. International tourists accounted for 10 percent of the NBA Store’s traffic of more than one million visitors last season, helping the NBA Store achieve its most successful sales season ever, with an increase of eight percent over last season. Patrons from Spain, England, Italy, and France were among the most frequent visitors to the NBA Store .

Top 10 Most Popular NBA Jerseys in Europe:

1. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
2. Allen Iverson, Denver Nuggets
3. Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
4. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
5. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
6. Boris Diaw, Phoenix Suns
7. Pau Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies
8. Andrea Bargnani, Toronto Raptors
9. Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets
10. Tracy McGrady, Houston Rockets

2007 NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS™ will feature four NBA teams -- Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors -- in training camps and competition against each other and against top European teams in six European cities over an 11-day period. The tour includes stops in London, UK; Rome and Treviso, Italy; Madrid and Malaga, Spain; and Istanbul, Turkey.

After the 2007 NBA Europe Live Tour, NBA teams will have played 41 games in 15 cities throughout Europe over the past two decades.