With the NBA mired in a lockout, its superstars are shopping their services to teams on other continents, and Kobe Bryant is no exception. Bryant has reportedly declined an offer of $6.7 million a year from Italian club Virtus Bologna and has made a counter-offer of $15 million, over twice the original amount discussed.
That $15 million works out to be about $7.5 million after taxes and Bologna president Claudio Sabatini is working through ways to make it happen. Having Bryant on your team is a marketing coup but the team is obviously having some trouble coming up with that kind of cash. They may be able to lock down a sponsor to cover his salary and cost of insurance, but even then it may not be enough.
Kobe is reportedly looking for a one-year contract with an out-clause in the case the NBA resolves it's continuing labor dispute. He's in Italy this week to work on a deal. Bologna may not come to terms with Bryant, but it's also being reported that they're also pursing Spurs star Manu Ginobili.