Bryant finds new world to conquer -- China

Times Staff Writer

Kobe Bryant was atop another list of jersey sales, only this one didn’t originate in the U.S.

Try Beijing. Bryant has the top-selling jersey in China so far this season, significantly better than Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, according to sales figures to be released today by the NBA.

Bryant also had the top-selling jersey in the U.S. based on data released by the league two months ago. He had the fourth-most-popular jersey last season in China.

Yao, third in China last season, has slipped to sixth. Denver guard Allen Iverson has the second-most-popular jersey in China, behind Bryant.



The Lakers had another one of those awkward moments on their bench Sunday, when Andrew Bynum joined Brian Cook, Smush Parker and Lamar Odom as players who have had sideline outbursts this season. The second-year center and Phil Jackson exchanged words in the final minute of the fourth quarter against Minnesota.

Bynum was charged with a turnover with 49 seconds left after failing to handle a pass from Bryant. A timeout was called, and Bynum didn’t back down from Jackson after the Lakers’ coach lit into him.

Bynum, who had two points and five fouls in 20 minutes, was also approached by assistant coach Brian Shaw, the attempted peacemaker in other sideline spats this season. Bynum stewed on the bench until the game was over and left without talking to reporters Sunday.

“With ‘Drew having all the experience in the first three-quarters of the season, we need to have his input off the bench,” Jackson said. “He’s got to find a way to exploit that and just stay positive as a scorer and as an alternate player for us and a backup threat for our team.”