Seems Kobe Bryant started a German trend ... 'cause NBA star Jermaine O'Neal took Kobe's lead and flew out to Germany for a special medical procedure that ain't exactly legal in the U.S. of A..
34-year-old O'Neal -- a 6-time NBA All-Star -- just posted a photo standing next to famed German surgeon Dr. Peter Wehling along with the caption, "Just finished up my last day of a week long of treatments out here in germany with the great Dr Wehling!"
There's only one reason O'Neal would go to Germany -- Regenokine ... a special procedure involving the manipulation of red blood cells that's believed to accelerate the body's healing process.
The only catch ... the procedure ain't exactly approved by the American FDA ... 'cause according to Grantland.com, it violates an FDA regulation that mandates that all human tissues (such as blood and bone marrow) can only be "minimally manipulated."
Obviously O'Neal isn't afraid ... neither is Kobe ... and even A-Rod is reported to have gone to Deutschland for a quick German fix-me-up.
It's unclear which body part O'Neal was hoping to fix -- but last year, Wehling reportedly worked on Jermaine's knees ... and it seems to have worked. J.O. played 55 games in the 2012-13 season ... the 2nd highest he has played in the last 10 seasons.
The NBA doesn't seem to mind the procedure ... 'cause Kobe never faced any repercussions from the league -- in fact, he played noticeably BETTER after he came back.
As for O'Neal ... he's not just hungry for an NBA championship ... he's also craving some high quality food ... recently tweeting, "Anybody know what's the best steakhouse to go to out here in Dusseldorf, Germany?"