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Italian team hopes Kobe Bryant will play three exhibitions

October 17, 2011 |  1:00 pm

Kobe Bryant

Just when it appears Virtus Bologna has tried everything imaginable to persuade Kobe Bryant to play for it during the NBA lockout, it tries a new proposal.

And then it tells the media about it.

Sportando reports that Virtus Bologna owner Claudio Sabatini has been negotiating with Bryant's agent, Rob Pelinka, about the Lakers star playing in a three-game exhibition tournament called "Kobe Cup" that would take place in Bologna, Rome and Milan. For those concerned about Bryant's injury-ridden body, the game would only last 24 minutes and entail two 12-minute quarters. Should the deal finalize, reports Sportando, the games would start from late October and extend into early November.

Of course, Sabatini, who reportedly also wants to involve a foreign team so he can sell television rights abroad, is the one leaking these reports. So as it has been along, this could just be another pipe dream. 


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-- Mark Medina

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