The Lakers have been travelling China playing exhibition games against the Golden State Warriors and fans have been going crazy over Kobe Bryant.
We already knew Bryant was a cultural phenomenon in Asia, and especially China. He has been visiting the continent for years for various promotional tours. This year we've had several glimpses at Kobe causing a scene wherever he goes with the team. This past summer we even saw a man reduced to tears just by the sight of the Lakers legend. Kevin Ding over at Bleacher Report was on hand and wrote about the Kobe hysteria in China.
It was asked in the postgame news conference of both Pau Gasol and Golden State star Stephen whether they were offended by the Chinese fans repeatedly chanting Kobe Bryant’s name while they, not he, played.
A lot of Chinese basketball reporters approached me for interviews or casual chats Tuesday, and it was interesting how they wondered whether Bryant is offended or put off by how rabid his fans in China are and how over the top some of them act…
Earlier we looked at footage of Kobe putting up shots prior to the Lakers-Warriors game, and here he is running he sidelines before the game and you can hear fans in the background going ballistic just over that, as they chant "Kobe, Kobe."