If this were a state by state count, and not a popular vote or Electoral College election, Larry Bird would have Kobe Bryant licked.
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As is stands, though, the Kobester is King. He took Ohio.
Mitchell and Ness revealed their top-selling jerseys for 2015 on Tuesday, and though Larry Bird is the top-ranking jersey in five different states (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island and, unsurprisingly, Indiana) Bryant remains the company’s top selling jersey overall.
Via Deadspin, take a look at the map:
Not only did Kobe steal Ohio from LeBron James – who has played in several different throwback jerseys, plus his Cleveland Cavalier originals, during his time working in the state – but he ranked highest in Oregon as well.
You know, “Oregon.”
The state of the Portland Trail Blazers, the team that lost to Bryant’s Lakers in three consecutive postseasons between 2000 and 2002. Home of the Jerome Kersey, Clyde Drexler, Bill Walton, Rasheed Wallace or even Moses Malone (happy birthday, Moses) throwback jerseys. Oregon has some explaining to do.
Other states do not.
Allen Iverson and Penny Hardaway took their home states of Virginia and Tennessee. Hakeem Olajuwon took Texas, unsurprising given his time spent playing college and pro basketball in Houston, but a little warming due to the knowledge of the state’s deep sporting history (and the Republic’s love of football).
Iverson also grabbed Alabama, while Patrick Ewing (who is from Jamaica, went to high school in Massachusetts, and played college ball in our nation’s capital before playing the bulk of his career in New York) won Vermont. Shaquille O’Neal’s Orlando jersey won West Virginia, because of course, while Vince Carter’s Toronto Raptors throwback stole Oklahoma.
And, because life is wonderful, the height of Muggsy Bogues took the fine state of Wyoming.
Still, I think Mitchell and Ness made a clerical error, and they may have some return cases on their hands. Kobe Bryant doesn’t even wear No. 8.
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