I see what you're saying, but I disagree. Nike has all of the guys that kids want to be like.
Kobe, Vince, Wade, Lebron, Carmelo, Nash...
Nobody is singing "I wanna be, wanna be like Yao." Even in China, where he is one of the biggest celebrities, kids are too short to want to be like him. If they're going to model somebody's game, it's going to be one of the guys on the list I gave above.
Remember that Lebron goes to Asia every year to build publicity for his shoes. The basketball fans there know who he is.