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Kobe Bryant's Italy controversy, NBA talks stir debate

September 30, 2011 | 10:43 am

Kobe Bryant

--The Times' Helene Elliott criticizes the NBA for issuing ultimatums during negotiations surrounding a new collective bargaining agreement.

--Fox Sports' Sam Amico argues that more NBA stars, including Kobe Bryant, need to be more involved with the labor negotiations. 

---The New York Times' Howard Beck outlines the importance of this weekend's meetings. 

--CBS Sports' Ken Berger says he believes it's possible the NBA and the players could reach an agreement this weekend. 

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr and Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin looks at how scheduling issues could prevent Bryant from playing in Italy. 

--Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe expresses skepticism that Bryant will play in Italy. 

---ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky talk with Bomani Jones about Bryant and the negotiations.

--Hoopsworld's Eric Pincus details the Lakers' plan to provide ticket-holding fans with refunds should an NBA lockout persist.'s Marc Stein reports that NBA Commissioner David Stern is prepared to threaten cancellation of the season if the two sides don't reach an agreement this weekend. 

--Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen argues that owners and players risk losing lots of money if they don't reach a deal.'s Mike Trudell looks at Fred Schaus' coaching career with the Lakers. 

--Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarwoski reports that Lakers owner Jerry Buss privately tells others that Bryant is worth $70 million to the team, far more than the $25 million he will make next season.

--Lakers Nation's Jonathan Garza looks at how Lakers Coach Mike Brown will run his offensive system. 

Tweet of the Day:"Sources say Kobe Bryant's "imminent signing" in Italy is actually him pump-faking NBA owners into a compromise heading into this key weekend" -- DraftExpress (Draft Express' Jonathan Givony)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "If he goes over there and plays and then comes back here and can still play for the Lakers at a consistent/high level, that's fine ... if he goes over there and plays and wears/burns his body out ... " -- Marcy Robbins

-- Mark Medina

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Photo: Kobe Bryant. Credit: Wong Maye-E / Associated Press