Will Kobe Play In Italy This Season?

With the exception of New Jersey Nets All-Star guard Deron Williams, there has not been a lot of activity from big name players in the Association in regards to signing with teams outside of the confines of the NBA, even though the current NBA Lockout could delay the start of the regular season. That situation could soon be changed as the “Los Angeles Times” and the “Associated Press” reported that Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant has been offered a contract by Italian team Virtus Bologna, for the upcoming campaign. If Bryant decides to sign with the club, it would bring him back to the country that he spent a great deal of his childhood.

The deal is reportedly for $6.7 million for the season, although the Times is reporting that the team would be willing to offer the veteran a bunch of choices in how he could get paid. Those options include signing a deal on a monthly or even a per-game basis.

The team’s General Manager Massimo Faraoni, has been very pro-active in trying to consummate a deal. He has been on the phone with Bryant’s agent Rob Pelinka, as well as Bologna Team President Claudio Sabatini, as he has been trying to lock up the Lakers star. Faraoni told reporters “I think we already have a competitive squad for Serie A, but Kobe is obviously a great champion and he would make a great addition to the team.I would put us just behind Milano and Siena. I think the fact that he’s lived in Italy makes this appealing to him.”

Bryant’s father played in Italy from 1984-1991, and Kobe played in an Italian youth league in the late eighties. Faraoni remembers watching the future Lakers’ team leader back then. He said “He already had a lot of passion for the game then.”

Bologna opens their Italian League season on October 9, as they will take on Roma. There has been no comment at the present time from Bryant or his representatives on the deal.

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