Make no mistake, this is about leverage in negotiations.
However the threat of going overseas to play sounds reasonable coming from Kobe, a guy who has the money and is a competitor at heart. Doesn’t mean the guy whose body could use a little rest is actually going to go over to Europe or China, or even Turkey.
But as you can see from the video (with quotes below) he is playing along with the union’s “I’m open to playing overseas game.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
“The one thing about basketball is it’s a global sport now, so you can play anywhere you want to.
“As far as myself, I just train. I just train and be prepared for anybody that calls, whether the NBA starts again or a team in Europe or a team here in China decides to call, then I’ll be ready….
“I always like being the hunter, I’m going after something. It doesn’t matter that I have one now, that means nothing to me. I have five (NBA titles), next year I’m playing like I don’t have five, you know what I mean? I’m playing for that one. I’m not looking over my shoulder and seeing who is coming behind me, I’m coming to get something else.”
The reality is that while may well do a barnstorming tour of China but don’t expect more, no matter how long the lockout goes. But he knows how to play the game… the negotiations game.