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NBA lockout: Kobe Bryant may not play in Puerto Rico

October 24, 2011 |  8:52 am

Kobe Bryant

The routine involving Kobe Bryant's overseas ventures happens in two stages.

Initial reports indicate it appears likely he'll play and only has to finalize a few minor details before the gig becomes official. Days later, various complications arise that make it more unlikely such a stint will happen. So it shouldn't come as any surprise that, as reported by Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski,  it appears Bryant may not play in Puerto Rico as planned this week.

The reason for the holdup appears to have little to do with Bryant and more with the tour organizers. Wojnarowski reported Puerto Rican promoters are still waiting on signed agreements from 10 of the 18 players expected to play in the game on Saturday in San Juan, a $12,500 payment to begin the sale of tickets and evidence of a global television package. Though the report indicates Bryant has prepared for the lucrative, six-game global tour in stops through London, Macau and Australia, it also specifies that losing the Puerto Rican game "could have broader implications for the entire tour," which is slated to run through Nov. 8. As originally reported by ESPN the Magazine's Chris Broussard,  LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Rajon Rondo, Russell Westbrook, Carlos Boozer, Paul Pierce and Kevin Love also planned to play.

As for Bryant, this venture marks one of many this off-season that experienced complications. First involved the Turkish basketball team, Besiktas, which struggled coming up with funds and a sponsor to pay for him. Then the Chinese Basketball Assn. maintained it wouldn't sign Bryant with an opt-out deal, something he staunchly rejected. And then the Italian team, Virtus Bologna, met resistance from other Italian League teams in reorganizing their schedule to accommodate Bryant's.

The only successful exhibition showcases involving Bryant included a surprise Drew League appearance in August and a pair of exhibition games the same month in the Philippines. Otherwise, all of other Bryant's potential gigs couldn't make it past the negotiating table. 


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-- Mark Medina

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Photo:  Kobe Bryant goes up for a reverse dunk during an exhibition game against Filipino players in Quezon City on July 23. Credit: Dennis M. Sabangan / EPA