Kobe unlikely to play in Italy
NBA superstar Kobe Bryant is unlikely to play in Italy – for a season, a month or even a handful of games named after him.
Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport reported Tuesday that Virtus Bologna owner Claudio Sabatini has given up his pursuit of Bryant because the price remains too high.
According to the report, Rob Pelinka, Bryant’s agent, was offering Sabatini the opportunity to sign his client for a handful of exhibition games called the “Kobe Cup.”
Previously, the sides were unable to come to an agreement on several deals, including one that would pay Bryant $15 million for the season and another than would pay him $3 million for 10 games. Sabatini attempted to line up sponsors to defray the cost but was unable to resolve scheduling logistics.
A former NBA MVP and five-time champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant is one of the faces of the NBA. He speaks Italian, having spent part of his childhood in Italy as his father finished off his professional career.