Talks Between Turkish Team and Kobe Bryant May Be Intensifying

Talks Between Turkish Team and Kobe Bryant May Be Intensifying

Bryant’s people are said to have contacted Besiktas in hopes of securing a deal during the lockout.

Published July 22, 2011

Earlier this week, it appeared a deal between Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant and Turkish club Besiktas was all but dead due to the NBA player’s asking price.


But now apparently Bryant’s representatives are reaching out to Besiktas again, writes ESPN. Besiktas signed New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams last week and employed Allen Iverson last season.


"It is a fact that Kobe Bryant's managers have contacted us," coach Ergin Ataman said Thursday.


The deal seemed to go sour earlier this week when the club’s $500,000 a month offer was countered by Bryant’s people with a $1 million per month asking price. Williams’ deal with Besiktas is reportedly for $5 million for the season.


Besiktas has said the only way Bryant could achieve his asking price is if a sponsor stepped in to cover a portion of his salary. That could very well be possible for a player with Bryant’s global recognition and endorsement deals.


It would also be something of a coup for Beskitas to land a 13-time NBA All-Star and one of the league’s top players.


Bryant, of course, is only looking to play overseas during the NBA lockout. He would return to the Lakers once the labor discord is over.


Bryant, who is also said to be willing to explore playing opportunities in China, would be joining a growing list of NBA players willing to listen to European offers during the lockout. Williams is the first star player to sign with an overseas club, but Dwight Howard and Kevin Durant have also discussed going abroad if the NBA can’t quickly resolve its labor dispute.


Contact Terrance Harris at or follow him on Twitter @Terranceharris.



(Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Written by Terrance Harris


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