Just because the NBA can’t get it together doesn’t mean the ballers can’t still ball. For the highest paid athletes in the league, acquiring an international players card is no problem.
In fact, Kobe Bryant is being sought so hard by the Italian league Virtus Bologna that its president, Claudio Sabatini, tells The Associated Press he’s “very confident” the 10-game contract, worth more than $3 million, will happen.
Bryant, who lived in Italy from age 6 to 13 while his father played ball there, is said to still be fluent in Italian and sees the opportunity as a “dream.” The AP says the president is “convinced this deal could be of key importance for the greater awareness of Italian basketball.”
The 33-year-old five-time NBA championship winner will not comment on the deal until the outcome of the next set of negotiations are known. Bryant will have to register with the Italian league before the season starts Oct. 9 to be able to play.
If everything works, the MVP will get to play for Virtus Bologna and then return to the U.S. to play with the Lakers should the lockout end.