A recent Harris poll was conducted for who the most popular male athlete was in America. As is to be expected, Kobe Bryant was near the top of the poll.
The poll was topped, for the first time in his career, by LeBron James, who surpassed Michael Jordan who was the most popular athlete in last year’s poll. Bryant, according to ESPN, was tied for fifth:
Rounding out the top 5 is retiring New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and in a tie for fifth is Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Much like James, who has regained his popularity since the infamous ‘Decision,’ Bryant has taken a long road towards the popularity he now enjoys in the latter stages of his career. Even more impressive is that Bryant has maintained this standing despite playing in only six games last season.
Bryant’s popularity, however, extends far beyond America. Bryant is one of the most recognizable athletes around the world and constantly attracts massive crowds of screaming fans wherever he goes.
As his career winds down, Bryant’s ability to remain popular among this new generation of athletes is amazing. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him maintain a run after retirement much like Michael Jordan has.
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