09/14/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Sports Jersey Sales: Yao Not Tops In China, Chad Johnson's Move For More Cash

If you had to guess which NBA jersey sold best in China, you'd guess Yao Ming's. You'd have to an anarchist or a contrarian college psychology major not to, and even in that case you wouldn't guess someone else. You'd answer the question with another question. Perhaps: "Which jersey is the opposite of the worst-selling jersey?"

But these are busy days and there is no time for such questions, so we will tell you, courtesy Agence France-Presse: Kobe Bryant's jersey sells best in China.

BEIJING (AFP) - US Olympic guard Kobe Bryant has the top selling jersey in China of any National Basketball Association player for the second year in a row, the league announced without revealing sales figures.


Boston star big man Kevin Garnett, whose jersey in the top seller for US supporters, ranked second in China with Houston's Tracy McGrady - a teammate of Chinese 2.26m center Yao Ming, ranking third.

Yao, a former top seller, slid from sixth to 10th on the list, seemingly meaning that most of those wanting a replica of his Rockets' uniform have already purchased one.

But if Yao wants to boost his sales, say for personal pride or other reasons, he need only take a cue from one of the more entrepreneurial players in the National Football League, Chad Johnson of Cincinnati. Johnson, who demanded all offseason to be traded -- to no avail -- has turned his attention elsewhere, according to ProFootballTalk, which reports that Chad Johnson wants to be known hereafter, legally, as Ocho Cinco.

Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson was fined $5,000 for wearing "Ocho Cinco" on the back of his jersey before a game in 2006. To avoid getting fined, Johnson hasn't done it since then. But Johnson now has a plan for how he can get away with having "Ocho Cinco" spelled out over the "85″ on his back.

We've learned that Johnson has taken the first steps in the state of Florida toward legally changing his last name to Ocho Cinco.


From a business standpoint, this might be Chad's way of picking up some of the extra cash that he wants to make but that the team has said it won't give him. The jersey would instantly become one of the NFL's top sellers, and NFL players get a cut of all sales of their jerseys.