Kobe Bryant pours cold water on Besiktas talk
By constantly name-dropping Kobe Bryant, the Turkish basketball club Besiktas performed the same mistake plenty of guys make when they brag about girlfriends they don't have and cars they pretend they own.
They soon become exposed as nothing more than frauds and further hurt their chances of their wishes and dreams actually becoming reality. Case in point, Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears and Adrian Wojnarowski reported Bryant "became irritated with Besiktas officials making public proclamations on the status of talks with him," which is why it isn't surprising he claimed ignorance to reporters in Washington, where he attended the World Football Challenge on Saturday and the Mia Hamm-Nomar Garciaparra Celebrity Soccer Challenge on Sunday.
"I've been touring. I get the Internet. I'm computer literate, so I can read on the Internet, and I read a lot of things and hear a lot of things," Bryant told reporters. "To be honest with you, that's the first time I hear those things. So, I'll let you decipher what that means, but a lot of that stuff is news to me."
In other words, those talks about Bryant meeting Besiktas or the organization having a 50-50 chance are about as accurate as when the Chicago Tribune reported that Dewey defeated Truman. NBA.com's David Aldridge and the aforementioned Yahoo report both indicate that there is a 0% chance Bryant will play with Besitkas. But that doesn't mean Bryant is saying no to playing overseas, as highlighted by The New York Times' Juliet Macur.
"I’m just waiting for my phone to ring," said Bryant, whose cellphone was reportedly on the table in front of him. "I’d play anywhere. I grew up overseas, so I’m very comfortable playing overseas."
So for those European and Chinese teams hoping to sign Bryant. Here's a few words of advice: Do the opposite of what Besiktas did. Don't share your intentions with the press. Make sure you have enough moeny to actually pay Bryant and not become tied down because of something idiotic, such as being linked to a match-fixing scandal. And call Bryant's bluff by calling his phone. Perhaps he might pick up.
Among some other links:
-- Fox Sports' Sam Amico praises Derek Fisher and other NBA players for acting professionally during the NBA lockout.
--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding highlights Fisher's belief that Bryant's knee looks healthier.
-- ESPN Los Angeles' Dan Feldman highlights Bryant's comments that he hasn't talked to Besiktas "in weeks."
-- Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin mentions that Phil Jackson will present Dennis Rodman and Tex Winter for induction Aug. 12 into the Naismith Basketball Memorial Hall of Fame.
-- ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky as well as Dave McMenamin discuss the NBA lockout, Bryant's health and whether the NBA players union becomes weakened with players going overseas in the latest podcast.
-- Fox Sports' Joe McDonnell argues Bryant shouldn't play overseas.
-- The Riverside Press Enterprise's Gregg Patton looks at all the off-the-court activities the Lakers have been involved with in the off-season.
-- Yahoo Sports' Marc Spears talks with Lakers forward Matt Barnes after his first game in the San Francisco Bay Area Pro-Am.
-- Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen remains skeptical that anything significant will arise from Monday's labor negotiations.
-- Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore makes fun of Besiktas constantly name-dropping Bryant and using him as a publicity stunt.
-- Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano relives when Bryant matched up with Michael Jordan in 1998.
Tweet of the Day: "Source: Kobe Bryant has not spoken with Turkish team in 2 wks. Current chance he plays there in fall: "zero percent." ... Source does indicate Bryant would consider overseas options if lockout continues." -- daldridgetnt (NBA.com's David Aldridge)
Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "Why waste time talking about whether Kobe will play overseas or not? Let him play, and if he blows out a knee......." -- Gerry Cabalo
Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant in May. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times