Representatives from Virtus Bologna and Bryant’s agent are negotiating deal that could return Bryant to the country he grew up in.
Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant may have reason to feel a bit nostalgic these days after an Italian team extended an offer of $6.7 million to play this season, according to the Associated Press.
Bryant spent much of his childhood in Italy while his father played there professionally from 1984 to 1991 so it could be a homecoming of sorts if he accepts the offer from Virtus Bologna. The team management is certainly hoping Bryant views it that way when he weighs the one-year contract that comes out to approximately $739,640 per home game.
“I think the fact that he's lived in Italy makes this appealing to him," Virtus Bologna general manager Massimo Faraoni said to AP.
The offer is very much in line with the $600,000 per game offer team president Claudio Sabatini had hoped to offer Bryant provided he could find a sponsor to pay 50 percent of the salary. Sabatini was able to secure a sponsorship with Canadian Solar, which will provide the cash for the deal, according to AP.
Faroni has been in talks with Bryant’s agent and the more it looks like the NBA lockout could interfere with the season the more it seems likely Bryant could be interested in appeasing his global fan base by playing overseas. The NBA announced Friday that it has delayed the start of training camps indefinitely and canceled as many as 43 preseason games.
Bryant, who has also been pursued by teams in Turkey and China, could favor the Italian deal because he could opt out of the contract once the NBA’s labor unrests are over.
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