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Kobe Bryant, Virtus Bologna Working 'Very Intensely' On Deal

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. The two sides released a statement today indicating that they are working "very intensely" to strike a deal, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.

The proposed deal figures to be valued at $3.2 million for a span of 10 games, which would allow Bryant to net $320,000 per contest. One of the big road blocks right now standing in the way of a completed deal is the reluctance of other teams in the Serie A league to reschedule and allow Virtus Bologna more home games.

Bologna wants to capitalize as much as possible on this deal, and showing Kobe off to its fans as often as possible during the 10-game stretch would do just that. Bologna is working with two reluctant Serie A teams to resolve the issue. The team is also working to move its first five road games to larger Italian venues.

Bryant's new contract would allow him to return to the NBA if the lockout were to end during the 10-game span. Another advantage of signing with Virtus Bologna is the nature of Italian basketball scheduling. Bryant would only be required to play one game every few days, a pace that should help the 33-year-old's body as it continues to age.