Not just international....I think it is the fact he is from Argetnina....not based on the color of his skin. I think Argentinian's get a "cocky" label from their fellow south americans/latinos. If Manu was from Miami, Texas or New Mexico....I think he would be a bigger star.....without darkening his skin.
By the way, I thought Manu held his own against Kobe in the 2003 playoffs. Not saying he was better, but he was right these with the best player in the game during his prime.