Living NBA Legend Kobe Bryant was named as the global ambassador for the FIBA World. The former Laker guard has a huge following in China, where the World Cup will be held, so it makes perfect sense that he will be the face of the event. He will also be promoting the event and take part in various activities leading up to the tournament itself.
More than sheer popularity, Bryant has a laundry list of accomplishments ranging from Olympic gold medals to NBA championships, as well as numerous All-Star appearances over the course of his illustrious 20-year NBA career.
“Growing up in Italy and spending many years visiting China, I have always appreciated the global impact that basketball has had on the positive development of young people,” Bryant said. “I’m honored FIBA has invited me to serve as an ambassador for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. I hope my participation inspires and motivates the best players from the 32 participating teams to represent their respective country on the world’s biggest stage. I look forward to seeing who will lift the trophy next year.”
China’s Yao Ming was a former ambassador. He opened the doors for the NBA and basketball in general, in China’s then-untapped market.