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Kobe Bryant stars in Italian Nike commercial

October 3, 2011 |  5:52 pm

Those reading the tea leaves might consider Kobe Bryant's appearance touting Nike's Italian sportswear as evidence he'll definitely wear the Virtus Bologna uniform.

Remember this, though. Just because Bryant films a commercial promoting a country doesn't mean he'll end up playing there. He endorsed Turkish Airlines but declined to play for the Turkish team, Besiktas. He appeared in a Smart Car China commercial, but he didn't agree with the Chinese Basketball Federation's stance that it would sign him only if he waived an opt-out clause. Now Bryant has appeared in a Nike commercial that indicates he's playing in Milan, but it remains to be seen whether the Italian League will alter its schedule to accomodate Virtus Bologna.

Two things, however, remain clear. Had Bryant signed with any of these teams chasing him, he would've expanded his product lines in those respective countries even more. But with each pursuit spurring more publicity for both the various leagues and Bryant, his endorsements have already stood to gain without even requiring him to pick up a basketball. 


Kobe Bryant appears in Smart Car China commercial

Kobe Bryant, Robert Rodriguez talk about Black Mamba Nike ads, six-minute film

Kobe Bryant appears in Turkish Airlines commercial

--Mark Medina

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