Although Kobe Bryant has been in the league for almost two decades, he still remains a very popular player. The NBA's rookies were asked to fill out a survey at the annual photo shoot two days ago. While all of the questions on the survey are about their fellow rookies, the last question is the rookie's favorite player in the league.
Take a look at how the rookie's voted:
- Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers— 21.2 percent
- Lebron James, Miami —15.2 percent
- Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City & Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas— 12.1 percent
- Kevin Garnett, Brooklyn & Chris Paul, L.A Clippers—9.1 percent
Despite Lebron James' back-to-back titles with the Miami Heat, he fell short to the Black Mamba. While the results are somewhat surprising considering the fact that Lebron was first place in last year's survey, you'd have to think that most incoming rookies grew up idolizing Bryant.
On the other hand, according to ESPN's latest sports poll, the 6-foot-8 forward is the most popular player in the NBA. However, from a global perspective in countries like China, Kobe is a lot more famous than Lebron. While James has certainly repaired his image after "The Decision," he simply isn't the world-wide icon that Bryant is just yet.
Also, the rookie survey is one example that the five-time champion will always have supporters out there, even when players like Lebron take over the league. The 28-year-old couldn't defend his title as the rookies' favorite player, despite achieving two Finals MVPs.
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