A recent poll on ESPN taken of Americans ages 12 and older discovered that Kobe Bryant was the most popular current NBA player.
Bryant, who is in his 16th season in the NBA, was in fact more popular than any other current athlete other than Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.
This is nothing new for Bryant, who has been at the top of this same list before. After the rankings were dominated by Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods for nearly two decades, Bryant overtook Woods as the most popular athlete in general back in 2009. While he was briefly surpassed by fellow NBA superstar LeBron James, when James packed his bags and headed for Miami his popularity plummeted.
Now Bryant is back at the top of the list as the most popular NBA player on a current NBA roster. And after the early season numbers he has put up so far this year, that popularity is most likely going to increase.