Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant was recently spotted at Apple's Cupertino, Calif. campus.
Following recent news that Apple is prepping an iWatch for release this fall, a new report claims that the company has enlisted several professional athletes to test the still-unannounced device.
Top players from U.S. professional sports leagues, including Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA), are testing the device's "fitness capabilities in intense training environments," according to 9to5Mac.
Among the athletes testing the iWatch are Lakers star Kobe Bryant and Los Angeles Kings player Dustin Brown. In addition to citing sources with knowledge of the collaboration, the report said Bryant was seen on Apple's Cupertino, Calif. campus last month to meet with the company's design chief Jony Ive.
While Apple appears to be covering all of its bases by involving nearly every professional U.S. sports league to test its new device, it's easy to see why the company is singling out Bryant in particular.
Listed as the world's fifth-highest-paid athlete, according to Forbes, Bryant would also be the perfect brand ambassador to introduce the device to western sports fans, as well as those in China, where he has an enormous fan base. What's more, Bryant has had a long endorsement relationship with Nike, one of Apple's partners rumored to be part of the development of the iWatch.
Reportedly powered in part by Apple's new Healthkit app, the wearable device could serve as a major new tracking and diagnostics tool for professional athletes and amateur fitness enthusiasts alike.
Sources claimed that the device, which reportedly has a curved screen, is already in production, and will debut in October.