Kobe Bryant reaches deal to play in Italy

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 09-30-2011, 02:44 AM         #1
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illicitx 
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Kobe Bryant reaches deal to play in Italy
 

 

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ROME (AP)—Italian club Virtus Bologna has reached a verbal agreement with Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant(notes) to play in Italy during the NBA lockout.

The sides have settled on a $3 million contract for the opening 40 days of the Italian league season, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The a.ssociated Press on Friday.

Bryant, who spent much of his childhood in Italy, was in the country for sponsor appearances over the past two days but was flying back to the U.S. for labor talks with the NBA on Friday.


U.S. basketball player Kobe Br…
AP - Sep 29, 3:03 pm EDT
1 of 2NBA Gallery

Bryant will get a work visa and return to Italy next week, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has still not been signed.

Virtus had been due to open the season Oct. 9 against Roma, but schedules now need to be reworked after Venezia was added to the league as a 17th team.

The deal, which would allow Bryant to return to the Lakers immediately if the lockout ends, should last about 10 games.

The 33-year-old Bryant spent several years in Italy when his father, Joe Bryant, played with Rieti, Reggio Calabria, Pistoia and Reggiana from 1984-91. The elder Bryant also once owned a small part of Olimpia Milano. He now coaches the Los Angeles Sparks in the WNBA.

The younger Bryant still speaks Italian fairly well, and discussed memories of his time in the country during an interview with the Gazzetta dello Sport two days ago.

“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,” Bryant told the Italian newspaper. “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.”

Bryant added that playing in Italy again “would be a dream for me.”

Turkish club Besiktas and at least one team in China had also expressed interest in Bryant, who has won five NBA championships and been an All-Star 13 times.

Bologna also recently approached Spurs swingman Manu Ginobili(notes), who played with the club before joining San Antonio in 2002. Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari(notes) rejoined his former Italian club Olimpia Milano last week.

The NBA season is scheduled to open Nov. 1 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 camps 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 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 before last season.


[pic - click to view]

 APNewsBreak: Virtus says deal done for Kobe Bryant - NBA - Yahoo! Sports


Man....he should be resting them knees :nasmad:


Last edited by illicitx; 09-30-2011 at 02:53 AM..

82 comments for "Kobe Bryant reaches deal to play in Italy"

 7 years ago '07        #2
Root Of Evil 56 heat pts56
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$12,045 | Props total: 973 973
here we goo..
 09-30-2011, 02:53 AM         #3
@RG3  OP
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i just beat off....
 7 years ago '10        #4
Dextromethorphan 217 heat pts217
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 7 years ago '05        #5
P DRILLA 106 heat pts106
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The sides have settled on a $3 million contract for the opening 40 days of the Italian league season, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The a.ssociated Press on Friday.


play money for kobe
 09-30-2011, 06:20 AM         #6
HT53  OP
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He should really rest this off season
 7 years ago '04        #7
jeehtoven 51 heat pts51
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ROME (AP) – Italian club Virtus Bologna said it has reached a verbal agreement with Kobe Bryant for the Los Angeles Lakers star to play in Italy during the NBA lockout.

"We have reached an economic deal," Virtus president Claudio Sabatini told a local radio station. "There's still some things to arrange but at this point I'm very optimistic. I would say it's 95 percent done."

A person with knowledge of the negotiations told The a.ssociated Press on Friday that the sides have settled on a $3 million contract for the opening 40 days of the Italian league season. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has still not been signed.

Bryant, who spent much of his childhood in Italy, was in the country for sponsor appearances over the past two days but was flying back to the U.S. for labor talks with the NBA on Friday.

Bryant is expected to get a work visa and return to Italy next week.

"Kobe should be in Bologna by Wednesday or Thursday with his visa in hand for medical visits and then we can deposit the contract with the league," Sabatini said. "I want to make clear that right now there are still no signatures. We've got to write the contract, which will then be read over and over again."

Virtus had been due to open the season Oct. 9 against Roma, but schedules now need to be reworked after Venezia was added to the league as a 17th team.

The deal, which would allow Bryant to return to the Lakers immediately if the lockout ends, should last about 10 games.

Sabatini wants to create a special schedule that a.ssigns Bryant's games to Italy's biggest arenas.

"This is an important investment and a unique chance for the city of Bologna and all of Italian basketball," Sabatini said. "I'm hoping everyone wants to collaborate."

The 33-year-old Bryant has three years and $83.5 million left on his contract with the Lakers.

Between the ages of six and 13, Bryant lived in Italy when his father Joe Bryant played with Rieti, Reggio Calabria, Pistoia and Reggiana from 1984-91. The elder Bryant also once owned a small part of Olimpia Milano. He now coaches the Los Angeles Sparks in the WNBA.

The younger Bryant still speaks Italian fairly well, and discussed his memories of his time in the country during an interview with the Gazzetta dello Sport two days ago.

"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," Bryant told the Italian newspaper. "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."
Bryant added that playing in Italy "would be a dream for me."

Bryant has been bothered in recent seasons by an arthritic joint in his right knee, which has required several minor operations. He sat out a majority of the Lakers' practices last season and saw his scoring, shooting percentage and minutes decrease in his 15th NBA season.

Former USC guard Daniel Hackett, a dual citizen who plays for Pesaro in Italy, said he would give Bryant a hostile reception if he faced the former NBA MVP.

"The only way to stop a player that good is with a hard foul and he knows that," Hackett said. "I've got five fouls to commit and they're going to be the hardest five fouls I've ever committed."

Hackett also criticized speculation that Bologna will ask opposing clubs hosting Bryant's away games to chip in a portion of ticket sales to help pay Bryant's salary.

"I really hope Kobe doesn't lower himself to this level for economic and commercial motives," Hackett said, according to the Gazzetta. "To me, it would be a big disappointment to see him here under these circumstances, and a loss of respect for a player who is too big to dirty his hands in this league."

Bologna president Sabatini replied, "Fortunately not all Italian players think like Hackett."
Turkish club Besiktas and at least one team in China had also expressed interest in Bryant, who has won five NBA championships and been an All-Star 13 times.
Bologna also recently approached Spurs swingman Manu Ginobili, who played with the club before joining San Antonio in 2002. Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari rejoined his former Italian club Olimpia Milano last week.

The NBA season is scheduled to open Nov. 1 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 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 before last season.

Having mingled with fans in Milan on Wednesday, Bryant also received a warm welcome in Rome on Thursday, where he was brought to the Campidoglio museum to be given a commemorative medal from the 1960 Rome Olympics.

 7 years ago '06        #8
hood135 2 heat pts
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“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,” Bryant told the Italian newspaper. “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.”
Dammit G.O.A.T. you fu*king sound like John Wooden with that "jumping and dunking" sh*t. I understand you're buttering the Italians up because you're going to be playing there but don't get it twisted, your a.ss had to "jump and dunk" in order for you to make it too.

That fundamentally sound sh*t takes a back seat when athleticism and ingenuity come into play.
 7 years ago '11        #9
DCballer40 
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Rest for what? This is a paid vacation for him and his family. He's playing in 10 games for $3 million. Those 10 games will be his training camp/pre-season run before the lockout ends and comes in ready. Guys talking about rest up...he's been resting for the past 2-3 months. If he rests any longer them knees of his will start creaking.
 7 years ago '04        #10
Tha-Problem 
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 7 years ago '04        #11
jumpman2304 25 heat pts25
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damn.

go head kobe. i aint mad at ya.
 7 years ago '04        #12
wheezyfbaby 9 heat pts
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Is Manu playing on this team too?
 7 years ago '09        #13
WiLL 17 heat pts17
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I aint even mad
 7 years ago '04        #14
KURUPTION!!! 541 heat pts541
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 MPLSallstar said:
Kobe you son of a bi*ch

This n*gga is doing it for the money, he don't even want to rest, heal, and strengthen his knees. This dudes a fu*king idiot.

Dude is too competitive for that. Did you really think he was gonna chill? If he's giving n*gga loans, I'm pretty sure it's not about the money.
 09-30-2011, 08:50 AM         #15
StayBlazin1  OP
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kobe getting better. cant be mad at that
 09-30-2011, 08:58 AM         #16
k3llz  OP
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 MPLSallstar said:
Kobe you son of a bi*ch

This n*gga is doing it for the money, he don't even want to rest, heal, and strengthen his knees. This dudes a fu*king idiot.

exactly
 7 years ago '10        #17
Troublesome91 48 heat pts48
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i aint even mad BRO
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 7 years ago '10        #18
SmoothTay 23 heat pts23
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pray for my knees laker fans and that ankle and that finger
 7 years ago '04        #19
purtayboi 1 heat pts
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 7 years ago '05        #20
Sivraj 347 heat pts347
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Bout to start beastin again.




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