For a few minutes vs. the Celtics Wednesday night, Johan Petro looked like he was worth that $10 million, three year contract he signed this summer. Three times, Jordan Farmar found him near the top of the key and three times, he hit a jumper over Shaquille O'Neal who couldn't get out quick enough to thwart the play.
But the 24-year-old Frenchman is more than a back-up center who's had a mediocre career. He is, if you guage popularity by Twitter followers, one of the world's most popular NBA players. As of this morning, Petro had 330,000 followers. No other Net had one-tenth that many. Kevin Durant has only 60,000 more. How so? It's all about being "cool" and globalization, he tells SI's Ian Thomsen. "They come from all over the place. I've got a good bunch from China to Australia to back here [in the U.S.] to a little bit of everywhere in Europe."
The World: Johan Petro - Ian Thomsen - Sports Illustrated