Besiktas reportedly plans to meet with Kobe Bryant's reps again Friday
Never say never.
It seems unrealistic Kobe Bryant would actually play for the Turkish basketball club, Besiktas, but for what it's worth, the team reportedly made an official offer to his agent, Rob Pelinka, during a meeting in Los Angeles on Thursday.
Ismail Senol of NBA TV in Turkey characterized the meeting as "positive" and reported the two sides plan to meet again Friday. Bryant didn't attend the meeting Thursday, reported Senol, which could signal some disinterest. But as Senol notes, the Turkish League starts in October, while the Chinese Basketball Assn. starts in December, giving Bryant two more months of paychecks should he decide to play overseas.
Another variable, Senol reports, that Besiktas hopes works in its favor involves Bryant's ability to opt out of a contract with its team should the NBA lockout end in time for a full or shortened 2011-2012 season. FIBA's recent ruling frees players to go overseas as long as they return to the NBA as soon as the lockout ends, something that the Chinese Basketball Assn. reportedly doesn't want to do.
Below the jump are links to reports on the lockout, the Lakers and others.
-- The Times' Bill Plaschke argues Kobe Bryant shouldn't play overseas.
-- The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding presents a photo slideshow featuring Mike Brown's new house.
-- ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky talks to Sparks forward Tina Thompson about growing up playing basketball in L.A.
-- The Daily News' Jill Painter details Joe Bryant's coaching stint with the Sparks.
-- Lakers Nation's Elizabeth Benson reflects on Eddie Jones' career with the Lakers.
-- SB Nation's Avinash Kunnath highlights Sonny Vaccaro's belief that Nike will pay Bryant to play in China.
Tweet of the Day: "Latest Kobe rumor from source in China: he could make eight figures playing there, easily, but only with no opt-out clause if lockout ends." -- ricbucher (ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher)
Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "he skill level of international players is night and day between now and when the dream team played. When the Dream team played, there wasn't a Dirk Nowitzki or a Pau Gasol or even a Steve Nash that was arguably the best player at their position on the other team. The best NBA players were almost all Americans.
Now, it is really an international game and it will only get more so. The reason the Redeem Team is called that is because they had to redeem US basketball after the failure of the old philosophy that any US team could beat anybody else. You know, the arrogant one. Give the Redeem team credit for winning in a new environment. It won't be any easier from now on." -- Phred Phredphredington
-- Mark Medina
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Photo: Kobe Bryant. Credit: Mark D. Smith / US Presswire