Kobe Bryant: ‘Turkish League is Best League in Europe’
After renewing a sponsorship deal with Turkish Airlines, five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant talked about basketball in Turkey. The NBA superstar went on to say the following about the Turkish League according to Mete Aktas via Twitter:
Kobe Bryant:”Turkish League is the best league in Europe and it’s going be that way for a long time.”(from his press conference in Istanbul)
— Mete Aktaş (@MeteAktas76) September 21, 2012
It’s no secret that Kobe has a soft spot for basketball overseas with the perennial All-Star living in Italy for a good portion of his childhood before attending Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia.
Kobe has come out and said that he’s seriously considering playing overseas when his career in the NBA is over. Many have speculated that Kobe would go back to Italy to play in the same league his father, Joe “Jelly Bean” Bryant, played in, but maybe he’s leaning towards heading to Turkey instead.
It’s a little surprising to hear Kobe say that the Turkish League is the best in Europe without mentioning leagues in Italy, but Kobe is a straight shooter and with so many NBA players playing in Turkey over the past few years it’s highly likely that Kobe is right on the money with his recent comments.
As arguably the two biggest stars from the NBA to play overseas, Deron Williams and Allen Iverson both suited up in Turkey for Besiktas. Before the NBA lockout officially ended, Former Laker Lamar Odom had a deal in place to play for Besiktas. Kobe seriously considered signing with Besiktas or Italian club, Virtus Bologna, with the season in doubt, but ultimately backed out.
If Kobe ultimately decides to walk away from the NBA after his contract with the Lakers expires in two years, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see him sign with Besiktas or another team in Turkey. Only time will tell if Kobe is willing to continue playing overseas as he will definitely have the opportunity to do so in the near future.
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