Kobe – Italy Happening?

Kobe – Italy Happening?

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Kobe Leaving NBA for Italy – Take Poll

Kobe Bryant is a name that turns heads. What can this latest news about the imminence of the deal be about? We were curious, so we asked some lakers fans on this Facebook thread, what they thought about Kobe’s possible NBA leave for the Italian Virtus Bologna: NBA Lockout Discussions

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MILAN (AP) – Kobe Bryant said it was “very possible” he will play in Italy during the NBA lockout, adding the country is like home because he spent part of his childhood there.

“It’s very possible. It would be a dream for me,” Kobe Bryant said of the contract off from Virtus Bologna, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport.

Virtus Bologna has made numerous contract offers to the Los Angeles Lakers star. Bryant discussed the offer with the Gazzetta dello Sport during a sponsor’s appearance in Milan on Wednesday.
“It’s very possible. It would be a dream for me,” Bryant said, according to the Gazzetta. “There’s an opportunity that we’ve been discussing over the last few days. It’s very possible and that’s good news for me.”

Virtus told The Associated Press that the latest talks are centered on a $2.5 million offer for 10 games over 40 days from Oct. 9 to Nov. 16. That would come out to about $1.5 million after taxes.
The deal would allow Bryant to return to the Lakers immediately if the lockout ends.

The 33-year-old Bryant spent several years in Italy when his father, Joe Bryant, played on five teams from 1984-91. The elder Bryant, who once owned a small part of Olimpia Milano, now coaches the Los Angeles Sparks in the WNBA.
“Italy is my home. It’s where my dream of playing in the NBA started. This is where I learned the fundamentals, learned to shoot, to pass and to (move) without the ball,” Kobe Bryant said, according to the Gazzetta. “All things that when I came back to America the players my age didn’t know how to do because they were only thinking about jumping and dunking.”
Turkish club Besiktas and at least one team in China have expressed interest in Bryant, a winner of five NBA championships and 13-time All-Star. However, he seems most interested in the Virtus offer.

“It’s a huge honor for me to return to Italy. It’s home for me,” Bryant said in fairly fluent Italian in a video posted on the Gazzetta website. “It’s always been a dream for me to play in Italy. We’ve got to wait and see what happens.”
Virtus also recently reached out to Manu Ginobili, who played with Bologna before joining the San Antonio Spurs in 2002. Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari rejoined his former Italian club Olimpia Milano last week.

The NBA season usually begins in late October, but owners and players have failed to agree on a new labor deal. The two sides are at odds over how to divide the league’s revenue, a salary cap structure and the length of guaranteed contracts.
Last week, NBA officials announced the postponement of training camp and the cancellation of 43 preseason games.
Virtus has won 15 Italian league titles but none since 2001, when it also won the Euroleague for the second time.

Bologna opens the Italian league against Roma on Oct. 9. It did not qualify for this season’s Euroleague, although the team has big ambitions after signing former Clemson point guard Terrell McIntyre, who led Siena to four consecutive Italian titles before transferring to Malaga in Spain last season.

From: USA Today Sports

  1. Samson Khoubier says:

    After reading about it more, it actually does look like it’s gonna happen! As a Laker fan, I must admit that I was skeptacle at first. However, now I feel that it would actually be good for him to get some competitive playing time on the court. The lack of conditioning is the main reason why so many NFL players are currently getting injured across the league. And considering the fact that The Black Mamba probably has about three more solid years left in him, he can use all of the conditioning he can get. Let’s see what the Kobe haters have to say :)

    • buddy says:

      “Competitive playing time”, I think not!!! History repeats itself, for the most part. Just like Joe Bryant (Kobe’s father), he was a part owner of Olimpia Milano. This is just a marketing strategy to first personalize with the Italian people as a player and then shortly buy his own team or be a part owner. Any overseas team would not gain fan favoritism if Kobe was to just come and become part owner, but when Kobe Bryant first plays on a team and stirs up attention, then he can move into being a part owner, which at that time will have a big fan base from not only the Italian media but also the international media outlets. If it ain’t about money, then it just don’t make sense, he is not interested in competition, as if that exist, he is just looking to make moves to look out for his own investments. God forbid, Kobe may have another Denver-like incident with some prostitute and may have to come back to buy his wifey a 4 million dollar diamond ring to keep her loving him “unconditionally”.

  2. raymark says:

    I don’t think Kobe is going to Europe to cheat on his wife. But it would be cool to see him play overseas. In my opinion some of the NBA players are using this overseas angle to scare the owners into budging on labor talks.

    The NBA would make a major mistake to end the season… Think of all the negativity. Kobe hoopin in Italy is a slap in the face to David Stern, the NBA, and all of the owners.

    • buddy says:

      Kobe cheating on his wife was just poking some fun at that beloved MJ imitator. My point was that he is not looking for competition, he is strategizing to gain a fan base for the team he will invest into as an owner. Consider this – Kobe playing on an Italian team is his way of investing into an overseas team. Just like paying via “Sweat-Equity” as his buy-in into ownership.

  3. mbhrad says:

    … brow-raising perspectives either way, what I really want to know is:

    What do you Lakers Fans think about this? Visit our poll on FB to Vote now, or chime in with your own blog here by Registering.

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