I’ll believe it when I see him walk on the court in another uniform, but the Kobe Bryant to Italy rumors remain the cockroach of rumors and will not go away.
But if it were to happen, this new one-game “Kobe night” rumor makes more sense.
That is the latest report out of Italy via Sportando.
Kobe Bryant, as reported by Il Resto del Carlino, is close to accepting the single game proposal made by Claudio Sabatini, owner of Virtus Bologna. The two parts are negotiating intensively in the last hour and a solution for the saga seems close to end. Kobe Bryant would land in Italy for four days and play one game in the ‘Kobe Night’. According to Sabatini there are already sponsors and networks ready to cover the event.
Sabatini offered to Bryant $2M for the single game.
I can get why Kobe does this — and it’s not just the cash. It’s one game and boosts his global brand, plus it’s in Italy where he spent eight years of his youth (while his father played professionally there).
Could the team recoup $2 million on one Kobe game? Maybe. That’s reportedly about what the Lakers pull in per game in gross revenue, and if Virtus can get sponsors and a special broadcast maybe it works. Plus, a lot of people will buy Virtus Kobe jerseys.
But I’ll believe it when I see it.
The NBA has unveiled its top 100 plays of the 2015-16 season, and there’s no mystery as to what were the top two.
No. 2: Stephen Curry‘s halfcourt buzzer-beater in overtime against the Thunder in Oklahoma City during the season.
No. 1: “The Block” by LeBron James on Andre Iguodala in the final stretch of Game 7 of the Finals.
There’s plenty more, too, and if you have 25 minutes to kill, you can and should watch all of them above.
Tyler Zeller is one of the few restricted free agents left on the market who could make an actual impact next season, and on Saturday morning, he’s come off the board. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports that the fourth-year big man has agreed to a deal to stay with the Celtics. It’s for two years and $16 million, with the second season being a team option.
Zeller isn’t a starter, but he’s a nice rotation big man, especially at that price. He can play minutes off the bench for Boston, and his contract is also very movable with the second season being unguaranteed. He played just 11.8 minutes per game last season, but averaged 18.5 points and 9 rebounds per 36 minutes.
The Toronto Raptors were good last season, second best team in the East. That means the guys on Inside the NBA on TNT had to talk about them.
Which means Charles Barkley had to say “Jonas Valanciunas” a lot. Which is high comedy. While a lot of people struggle to say his name the guy is a solid NBA center who, with a little practice, you can say (and spell) his name pretty easily.
This comes from a YouTube user, via Reddit, with a hat tip to Eye on Basketball.
Argentina isn’t considered a medal contender heading into the Rio Olympics. Their golden generation — led by Manu Ginobili — has picked up a lot of speed on the downhill side of their careers at this point.
They didn’t provide much of a challenge for Team USA in an exhibition game Friday night in Las Vegas, one won by the USA 111-74. Kevin Durant impressed playing with his new teammates in dropping 23 points, Paul George had 18, and the Americans had their way in the game.
Which is what we’re going to see a lot of in Rio — the USA’s talent level is just steps above any other team in the tournament.