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NO PRESSURE: BRYANT LABELED BY TWO MAGS AS "AIR APPARENT"

          The Lakers' Kobe Bryant is profiled in the current
     issues of BUSINESS WEEK and NEWSWEEK.  Under the header, "Is
     Kobe Bryant The Air Apparent?," BUSINESS WEEK's Grover,
     Hyman & Scotti write that '97-98 "hasn't been the smoothest
     [NBA] season in memory," and the question "on everyone's
     mind" is who will succeed Michael Jordan.  NBA CMO Rick
     Welts, on the post-Jordan era: "The game will continue to be
     driven by individual personalities and stars."  Grover,
     Hyman & Scotti write that Bryant is "the complete package.
     ... This superstar-in-the-making still lives with his mom,
     dad, and two sisters.  In a league in which green-haired
     attention hogs have been known to headbutt refs, Bryant is a
     gentleman who says he 'never thought' of getting tattoos and
     doesn't drink or take drugs because 'my parents told me it
     wouldn't be good for my health.'  Can this kid be real?" 
     Bryant's endorsement deals with adidas, Spalding and Sprite
     "could" hit an estimated $5M and a deal with McDonald's "has
     been in negotiations for months."  Rick Burton, Dir of the
     Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the Univ. of OR, said that
     Bryant is "one of the few guys who could get within shouting
     distance" of the $40M in marketing deals that Jordan earns.
     In regards to image, Bryant said that he doesn't want "to
     overextend myself.  People can become bored with you." 
     Bryant's former agent, Rick Bradley of William Morris, says
     the "game plan" for Bryant from the beginning was to "go
     slow so that his game can develop."  Bryant's agent is Arn
     Tellem, while most of the deals regarding Kobe "are approved
     by his father," Joe Bryant (BUSINESS WEEK, 3/16 issue).
          JELLYBEAN SHOULD BE PROUD: NEWSWEEK profiles Bryant
     under the header "Air Apparent," and Samuels & Starr write
     "the rush to find an Air apparent is on.  For now, all roads
     lead to Kobe ... the flashiest and, in many ways, the
     savviest of the new breed of NBA stars."  Samuels & Starr:
     "With a taste for urban style, Bryant is hip-hop meets
     'Father Knows Best.'  He is unfailingly polite, signing
     autographs and answering questions, and dutiful in his civic
     and charity obligations" (NEWSWEEK, 3/16 issue).

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