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Kobe’s Jersey Most Popular in China

LeBron James so often talks about his goal of becoming a “global icon.” Having a top selling jersey in China — a country of 1.3 billion — would probably be a good starting point. Maybe he’s jealous of Kobe Bryant because come to find out, 24 has the top selling jersey in China for the second year in a row. It’s pretty funny that Yao has slid to the 10th spot because he’s the top NBA player from China. They say everyone who would want a Yao jersey probably already has one. And in case you’re wondering why Kobe switched from Ocho to 24, maybe we now have our answer.

Now the guy who’s probably experienced the biggest resurgence is Kevin Garnett. The spike in his jersey sales is probably attributed to him switching teams from Minnesota to Boston. KG had the top selling jersey in the U.S., as well as the second highest in China. After that it was T-Mac third, followed by Paul Pierce, Allen Iverson, Gilbert Arenas, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade (loved by the Euros), Dwight Howard, and Yao. Since it has been a few years since Kobe switched his jersey number, one must only assume his popularity in China is due to his fantastic nickname there; they know him as “Little Flying Warrior.” That’s a pretty tight nickname if you ask me. Though maybe it’s not just the nickname. Perhaps it’s his badass game putting him in MJ’s company that’s getting it done instead.

Lenny Dykstra a Stock Fraud?

Just like many of you, I was pretty shocked to first hear about Lenny Dykstra’s financial prowess in the baseball afterlife. Amongst some of his boasts, he was writing columns for Jim Cramer’s TheStreet.com (usually giving advice on trading stock options), and being featured on HBO in which he said he had bought Wayne Gretzky’s house. Not too shabby. There’s no denying the guy has something good going, but just how much of it is coming from the man himself who proclaims he doesn’t like to read too much because he’s not too smart and it hurts his eyes? Turns out there might be someone pulling the strings of the Dykstra puppet behind the scenes. The following info was released by Forbes and came out in a suit by Doubledown (the people who were publishing Dykstra’s magazine that fell apart):

“At Dykstra’s insistence, Doubledown began negotiations to pay Richard Suttmeier, a stock analyst, to provide Dykstra with research assistance for the Dykstra Report and who, upon information and belief learned subsequently, provided Dykstra lists of recommended stocks daily.”

Who is Richard Suttmeier? A market strategist for financial Web site RightSide Advisors and formerly a contributor to RealMoney.com, a subscription Web site owned by TheStreet.com.

FORBES compared Dykstra’s buy recommendations as they appeared on TheStreet.com from Apr. 1 through May 1 with those in Suttmeier’s weekly Sector Report during the same month and before. Among Dykstra’s 17 buys, 11 had appeared days earlier in Suttmeier’s newsletter.

Let’s see, if I mimicked some of the picks I found in the top holdings of an excellent mutual fund, I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a great financial genius for discovering stocks, but there is still something to be said about it, especially considering how many people out there are giving bad advice. Moreover, Dykstra was a ballplayer — he had to learn about stocks from someone. Looks like he’s sifted through all the available info and found something that works, even if it means picking off someone else’s lift. I give Nails a pass on this one because what he’s doing is obviously working.

Alamo Dome Seats Ripped Fans Off

I remember looking at the photos online when I was getting prepared to purchase my Final Four tickets for the trip I wound up not taking. I automatically ruled out certain sections based on the charts I saw. Now I know why. We have visual photo evidence from Sports by Brooks depicting how horrible some of the seats were:

When players are beginning to resemble a farm of fire ants more than the physically imposing specimen they really are, you know things are bad. Typically I say you have to be there when your team wins a championship. In this case, watching on 15″ kitchen TV would be an unequivocal improvement. I’d like to see some of the representatives from the Alamo Dome actually take a hike to section 330 and truly tell me tickets should be sold for that section. Now you know why the attendance was over 43,000. What a disgusting ripoff.

Denver Lacrosse Team Bigger Draw than Nuggets, Avalanche

I bet most of you probably didn’t even know Denver had a lacrosse team. I bet many of you have a professional lacrosse team in your town and don’t even know it. I didn’t. But apparently the people of Denver happen to be quite interested in theirs. Matter of fact, the Colorado Mammoth draw more fans per game at 17,400 than the Nuggets and Avalanche. The Mammoth only play eight home games a year and have cheap ticket prices, but still, packing the house to watch professional lacrosse is impressive; I figure even lingerie lacrosse would have a tough time selling out.

So is there a future in this country for professional lacrosse? I doubt it. Even the team second in attendance — the Buffalo Bandits — attract just around 14,000 fans a game. Most others have a tougher time. I think one of the big factors hindering the popularity of lacrosse is its regional appeal. Growing up on the West Coast, there was no exposure to the sport. It looks like fun, but nobody plays it. Still, to outdraw a potential playoff team with superstar power like the Nuggets as well as the hometown favorite Avalanche, is equally impressive as it is shocking.

(via Fark)

Euros Love Them Some D-Wade

If you thought that the likes of Dirk, Pau, Mehmet Okur, or say, Zaza Pachulia, would have the top selling jerseys in Europe because you know, they actually played in that continent, then you would be wrong. Much to my surprise, I have come to discover that Dwyane Wade’s No. 3 is the most popular selling jersey in Europe.

The list of most popular jerseys is based on sales from European retail locations last season. The NBA said sales of league merchandise in Europe increased 40% from the 2005-06 season, with international sales accounting for 25% of the league’s overall global merchandise business.

Wade is followed by Allen Iverson of the Denver Nuggets, Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

So how about that? How exactly does this work? I could understand when T-Mac had the most popular jersey in China since he played on the same team as Yao But Dwyane? How did he get so popular over there? OK fine, we all know the underlying truth, it’s all because of the Big Aristotle. Isn’t he responsible for everyone’s success?

Kevin Durant Wants to go Cheap with His Shoes Like Starbury

Thanks to Ballhype for putting me onto Nate Jones’ story at FanHouse about Texas star Kevin Durant wanting a shoe deal that will market his sneakers for cheap. The news is truly pleasing. Taking it from Jones:

Today on his Oregon Live blog, John Canzano reported that one of the sticking points for Durant in his negotiations with Nike and Adidas is a commitment to make a shoe that is at a price point that most individuals could afford. That price point is rumored to be between $39 and $69.

Whether or not big companies like Nike or Adidas would actually go for something like this is debatable — it would go against most of their business policies. Just perusing the Adidas website for instance, shows that high top basketball shoes range from $80-$200, with most pairs in the hundred dollar range. Going through Nike’s shop online, it was a stretch to find a basketball sneaker in the double-digits price range. The other element at play is whether or not Kevin Durant will remain steadfast in his desire to have a company sell his shoe for cheap. Would his desire to sign with a big company override his wish of selling an affordable shoe? I think it’s possible.

We’ll wait to see what happens with Durant, but I’m happy to hear he’s even considering the idea. The reasonably-priced sneaker is an excellent concept by Marbury, and I’ll always applaud this off-court effort regardless of what his on-court reputation may be.

(image courtesy You Been Blinded)

Who Cares About the Low NBA Finals TV Ratings

They don’t bother me one bit. Of course I’m not the one selling advertising on my multi-million dollar finals TV deal, but still. I’m really just sick and tired of hearing about how the NBA finals ratings are down. That doesn’t seem to be news to me. It’s seems so commonplace. Not just for the NBA, but for MLB, the NHL, and most televised sports except the NFL. Heck, even TV show ratings are down. So why do people constantly bring up the dropping ratings as if it’s a big deal?

This is just the increasing trend in television these days. There are so many options out there for people to watch on the tube (and internet), that shrinking ratings don’t make me bat an eyelash. And I don’t think David Stern is blowing smoke when he says he’s not concerned about the low ratings. He shouldn’t be. Compared to the competition, they’re doing fine. What do people expect, 15 shares for the NBA finals? That’s just not in the cards these days.

Just because the NBA finals have low ratings does that mean basketball isn’t popular? Does that mean people aren’t watching? Does that mean nobody likes the NBA? No, no, and no. The ratings are bullcrap. Good fodder for us to poke fun. But I won’t fall for that trap.

If the NBA were struggling for viewers, then why did they set their all-time record for highest regular season and post-season attendance with 23.4 million fans? Why is the game broadcast to 205 countries in 46 different languages? If the NBA is doing so poorly, and can’t draw, then how do you explain that type of proliferation? You can’t. And that’s my point exactly. If it ain’t the Yankees, or the Knicks, or the Celtics, or the Red Sox, the ratings are going to be low. Get used to it. Just don’t let it fool you into thinking that the sports aren’t thriving, because they are.

(both statistical notes in above paragraph via The Sports Professor, Rick Horrow)