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Forbes lists Kobe Bryant as the 14th most powerful celebrity worldwide

May 18, 2011 |  2:34 pm

61462617Should Lakers guard Kobe Bryant receive any plaque or paper commemorating his 14th-place ranking on Forbes' list of the "world's most powerful celebrities," he'll likely lump it in with various Q Score rankings, Harris Interactive Poll findings and Western Conference player of the week awards. You know, the honors that mean absolutely nothing.

Bryant admits he views his legacy solely on how many championship rings he wins, downplays his penchant for wanting to move up on the NBA's all-time scoring list and once expressed indifference on whether he cares about being considered the best player. But that's the criterion Bryant uses to measure himself. The way Forbes determined its findings are pretty caddy.

Forbes created the list based on the athletes' earnings (Bryant was estimated to have made $53 million in the last year), which certainly gives a good sense of how powerful they are. But then the magazine calculates their media visibility based on how often they were mentioned in newspaper clippings, television and radio and how many times they appeared on magazine covers. The magazine also measured how many followers/fans each person had on Facebook and Twitter.

Those criteria perfectly explain why Justin Bieber ranks No. 3, just behind Oprah Winfrey, why Tiger Woods ranks sixth despite his poor golf game and why LeBron James ranks ahead of Bryant at No. 10. Bieber climbed up the ladder because every teeny bopper magazine features him. Woods remained relevant because of the reports involving his marital problems. And James still faces the scrutiny over the Decision. Should Bryant feel compelled to move up in the rankings, it'd probably help for him to create a Twitter account or do something controversial. But he'd probably prefer working on his game instead.

--Mark Medina

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant reacts after a foul was called on a teammate during Game 4 against the Mavericks in Dallas. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times