This is pretty cool… Good to know that Kobe has much popularity outside the States as he has in his home of Los Angeles.
Yahoo! Sports: This was the oddity of the night. Behind the Chinese president and the entire national team, the one athlete who appeared to get the loudest ovation was none other than Kobe Bean Bryant. The moment was so odd that even U.S. journalists were looking at each other in puzzlement. The Russian, Chinese and American presidents were here, but Kobe was the head of state tonight.
More from Yahoo! Sports…
But the one thing we all learned is Kobe (Bryant) is the most popular player here, maybe the most popular athlete at the Olympics. The crowd was chanting his name, “Kobe, Kobe,” and the volunteers who were supposed to be guiding us were trying to get autographs. It is so out of control with Kobe that LeBron James cracked, “I thought I was famous until I got here with Kobe.” Kobe is big here in China.