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Kobe Bryant To Play Basketball In Italy?

Submitted by on September 26, 2011 – 5:06 pmNo Comment

In wake of the recent news that the NBA has canceled training camps as well as 43 preseason games, the league “Where Amazing Happens” seems to be on the brink of a failed (or at the very least, abbreviated) season. Much like the NFL, the issues keeping the union from striking a new deal with the owners center around sharing of revenues between owners and players, length of guaranteed contracts and structure of salary caps. Making matters worse, the owners seem to be holding out until the players really start missing those checks.

Of course, many players have already signed on to play overseas, such as Deron Williams and J.R. Smith. Is Kobe Bryant the next to make a move? The Lakers superstar, who has been fielding offers from several countries since the end of last season, has just gotten an offer from Italy, where he spent a significant part of his formative years. This particular opportunity is thought to have more traction than others Bryant has received.

The terms of the contract are very favorable toward #24. He’s been offered $6.7 million for one season with the option to sign on for one-month or two-month contracts at a time, in addition to being able to play on a game-by-game basis for $739,640 per game. All of the options allow Bryant to return to the NBA upon the end of the lockout.

More importantly, if Kobe were to take the contract, it would say to the owners and administrators of the league that the players will not just bow down when the checks stop coming in. Kobe Bryant is one of the league’s most sought-after, loved (and hated) players. People fill seats when he comes to town. If other top-tier players such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Dwight Howard would field (or better yet, take) offers like this, the league would feel the pressure to make concessions to keep the players off of whom they generate revenue. It’s an extreme tactic, but it could prove beneficial in putting an end to the lockout, so Viva Italia!

Of course, Kobe has not officially made any announcements on this matter and is leaving these talks to his agent.

Source: ESPN

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