After all the speculation and rumors that Kobe Bryant would play in Italy if the lockout continues, there was never any definitive word from Bryant himself. Late last week, Virtus Bologna reportedly offered Bryant $5 million to play with them as long as the Lakers are locked out.
Now, the Associated Press is reporting that Bryant is becoming more and more open to the idea of playing for the country he grew up in.
“It’s very possible. It would be a dream for me. There’s an opportunity that we’ve been discussing over the last few days. It’s very possible and that’s good news for me.”
Bryant spoke to a crow in Milan, while Virtus explained their potential deal with the NBA superstar. It appears as if the latest talks are centered on a $2.5 million offer for 10 games over 40 days from Oct. 9 to Nov. 16. Bryant went on to explain to the Gazzetta dello Sport why playing in Italy would mean so much to him.
“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. 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.”
Whether or not Bryant ends up in Italy is still to be determined, but his decision could be affected by the outcome of the next NBA labor negotiation that is scheduled for this afternoon.