Kobe has most popular jersey in USA, China

Kobe Bryant now has the most popular jersey in China, too.

The Los Angeles Lakers' star has the top-selling jersey there, while sales of Yao Ming's jersey in his home country continue to fall, according to results released by the NBA on Tuesday.

Bryant moved up three spots to replace Tracy McGrady, Yao's teammate with the Houston Rockets, atop the list. McGrady slipped to third, while Yao dropped three spots to sixth.

Bryant, who switched from No. 8 to No. 24 this season, also had the top-selling jersey in the United States. He increased his popularity in Asia after touring the continent last summer, even though he was unable to play for the United States in the world championships after knee surgery.

Allen Iverson remained second for the second straight year, while Dwyane Wade and LeBron James rounded out the top five.

Rankings were based on sales in China from the start of the season through the All-Star break.

NBA retail sales in China are expected to rise by more than 50 percent this year, the NBA said, according to Bloomberg News. The league plans, in conjunction with adidas, the exclusive NBA jersey supplier, to open 10 NBA stores in the country by 2008, Bloomberg reported.

The number of viewing options of NBA games are on the rise as well, with broadcasts available on 51 television stations in China, up from 32 last year, according to Bloomberg.

At 1.3 billion, China is the world's most populous country.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.