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Lin Increasing Basketball Popularity Abroad

AP Photo

There probably aren't many times when the NFL looks at the NBA with envy, but this surely has to be one of them. Dominant as it is domestically, professional football has no equivalent to the global phenomenon that is Jeremy Lin right now. While the NFL still tries to convince international audiences they should pay attention, the NBA enters its All-Star weekend with not just the hottest story -- Lin -- but with an expanding brand, one that has a foothold once again in China.

Twenty years ago, as basketball braced for the debut of the Dream Team, "international" in NBA terms essentially meant Eastern Europe. Yes, there were players from other places in the world, notably Hakeem Olajuwon, Dikembe Mutombo and Manute Bol, all African. But they'd been trained and...

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