Kobe Bryant still has an offer on the table from Italian squad Virtus Bologna — one modified from the original offer to allow for a range of options — and he and his agent will have a conference call with the team to discuss it, according to various reports out of Europe.
That is all very different than Kobe actually accepting the deal, although the options to play one or a handful of games could be appealing. Then again, reports are he is interested in a full season (with an NBA opt out).
Kobe’s agent Rob Pelinka said that his client would like to play the entire season, obviously with an NBA escape, with the Italian team and not only few games as first reported. Bologna’s president Sabatini took the opportunity to have arguably the best player in the world and has put on the table $5 million for the entire season. Also Bryant would like to give part of his income for benefaction.
The offer reportedly is $500,000 for one game, $650,000 a game if he stays for a month and $5 million if he stays for the season.
That was enough to get the sides talking, according to Sportando.
The Italian team also said that Rob Pelinka answered to the proposal made by Virtus and that tonight there will be a conference call between the two parts.
Again, all that is a long way from Kobe accepting a deal. That said, he does have a love of Italy and ties to the country (he spent part of his youth there while his father played professionally in Italy) and speaks fluent Italian. This makes more sense than him playing in Turkey.
But it’s still a long shot. Smart money has Kobe staying in Orange County — behind the Orange Curtain — until the lockout ends.