Kobe Bryant In Italy? Laker Guard And Virtus Bologna In Holding Pattern

Kobe Bryant and Italian team Virtus Bologna have been talking for several days now about a contract that would bring Bryant to the Serie A league for part of the summer.

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Kobe Bryant & Virtus Bologna Reportedly Close To 40 Day Deal

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers has been flirting with overseas opportunities, but opportunities with China and Turkey fell through because the money clearly wasn't enough. However, the allure of Italia appears like it'll be enough to entice him outside the Staples Center confines.

Well, that, and the buckets of gold Virtus Bologna is throwing at Bryant. According to Sportando Basket and Alberto de Roa, the Italian club president Claudio Sabatini says that he's reached a 40 day deal with Bryant that'll be $3 million worth before taxes. Some technicalities still have to be ironed out, but it's about 95% done. It's a lot of money for a short period of time, but I guess the club is expecting to make some of it back with merchandise and jersey sales.

Interesting that Bryant would make this move. Is he not confident that a resolution to the NBA lockout is on the horizon? Or is he just ready to try out playing overseas now that his best days are behind him? It's most likely nothing to worry about for Lakers fans in the long run though. When the season starts up, Bryant will be back.

For more on Kobe and the Lakers, head to Silver Screen and Roll.

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Kobe Bryant Negotiating Deal To Play For Virtus Bologna

Kobe Bryant has been flirting with playing overseas all offseason long, but nothing real concrete has emerged. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar has received offers from Turkey and China, but it never went past the original stages of discussion. For most of the offseason, it's looked like Bryant's next significant minutes on a basketball court would be played under the lights of Staples Center and other NBA arenas.

But with the NBA lockout on the verge of extending into the regular season, Bryant might very well be changing his tune. Reports from Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register indicate that Bryant could very well be heading back to Italy to play basketball. The early reports are that Kobe would net half a million playing for Virtus Bologna if he played the season opener, $650k if he plays the first three games, and $3 million for the entire season.

Bryant's history with Italy is well-documented (he spent most of his childhood there and speaks fluent Italian), and he'd certainly be comfortable playing there, but would the money be good enough? There's no doubt that he could help grow Italian basketball, and it'd give him something to do while the lockout progresses, but there's still a lot of negotiating to do before Bryant hitches his helicopter over to Europe.

(HT Tom Ziller)

For more on Bryant and the Lakers, head to Silver Screen and Roll.

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