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Kobe Bryant on playing in Italy: 'Very possible'

September 28, 2011 |  9:24 am


As Kobe Bryant is making tour stops in Italy promoting his Nike shoes, he told reporters it's "very possible" he'll play there during the NBA lockout.

"It would be a dream for me," said Bryant, who grew up in Italy and has been negotiating with Virtus Bologna. "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 usually doesn't like having negotiations become public. That's why he instructed the Lakers to stay mum about his contract extension during the 2009-10 season. But as far as this off-season goes, it appears Bryant has liked the courting from a Turkish team, Besiktas, and Virtus Bologna. The latter team has reportedly offered him $2.5 million for 10 games over 40 days from Oct. 9 to Nov. 16. The speculation also helps his international brand, which includes sponsors such as Nike, Turkish Airlines and SmartCar. 

But for now, take anything that's said from both Bryant and the teams that are courting him with a grain of salt. After all, all this summerlong talk about him playing overseas hasn't resulted in him putting on a uniform yet.


Bryant should decline offer in Italy

Kobe Bryant reportedly wants $15 million to play in Italy

NBA lockout: Training camp postponement really hurts Lakers

--Mark Medina

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Photo: Kobe Bryant makes an appearance in Milan, Italy, on Wednesday. Credit: Luca Bruno / Associated Press