Brian Scalabrine, wearing green and tearing it up. Just like…. yea, we’re not sure either.
But this video (via Sportando) is just that — Scalabrine is playing for Benetton Treviso in the Italian league and tearing it up. I would swear I even saw him create his own shot in there somewhere. Say this for Scal (last seen with Chicago), that is a pretty quick release and as a big who can step out to the arc he is a good fit for the European game. So good on him.
Still, can’t wait to see him sitting on an NBA bench again. Right Celtics fans?
Report: Kobe working on deal with entire Italian League to play for Virtus Bologna
It’s hard to buy into any talk of Kobe Bryant playing overseas after the debacle with Turkish team Besiktas. And just like with Besiktas, it’s team officials who are blabbing too much for Italian club Virtus Bologna, threatening to undermine their own chances of landing the five-time NBA champion. But according to Yahoo!, Kobe’s invested enough in this deal to not only want his money, but a system to help the entire league. Yes, that’s right. A player locked out by his own league, in part because of the humongous differential between the club he plays for and the others, wants a stronger support system for the entire league. The irony is suffocating.
Kobe Bryant is pushing forward with the negotiation of a complex agreement with Virtus Bologna that the Los Angeles Lakers star hopes will create a partnership with the teams in the struggling Italian League to share in the financial benefits of his arrival there, sources with knowledge of the talks told Yahoo! Sports.
Bryant of course has a history with Italy, having spent several years there as a kid. He clearly has the interests of the entire league and not just getting his at heart. (Though he will undoubtedly get one of if not the biggest foreign basketball contract in history.) Also odd is the fact that talks are progressing at this pace with the NBA negotiations having accelerated in the past two weeks towards a resolution. Either Bryant is simply pursuing a viable backup plan, or he knows something we don’t.
Report: Kobe tells Italian team he wants $15 million
Virtus Bologna — much like Turkish side Besiktas — is making a very public run at signing Kobe Bryant. Sure, they’d like to get him, but if they don’t this is still great public relations (and Manu Ginobili could be the fall back).
If they are going to get him they are going to have to pay. Big time.
Kobe Bryant turned down the first proposal made by Virtus Bologna for him ($6.7M) and asked to the Italian team for $15M per year before taxes, as reported by Bolognabasket.it. After taxes, the salary would be around $7.5M per year. The counterproposal made by Kobe and his agent shocked (team owner) Claudio Sabatini who said that, with that amount of money, can offer to Kobe Bryant just a two-month deal.
Kobe is in Europe right now and is headed to Italy as part of a Nike-sponsored tour. He could meet with Sabatini and have a discussion at that time, although it is more likely his agent Rob Pelinka will handle the dirty work.
“It is very difficult to win in NBA. You must reach your limits if you want to succeed. Of course, I want to win more NBA title with Los Angeles Lakers. Now that there is lockout, the phone rings. Anyone who wants to make me a proposal can call, from Greece or Europe,” said Kobe.
For the record, I don’t think Kobe will play overseas for any amount of money, but it’s smart marketing to say he’d consider it.
Nuggets Danilo Gallinari to play in Italy during lockout
If you’re looking for a bright side Nuggets fans, at least he didn’t go to China like everyone else. And at least he has an out clause to return.
Danilo Gallinari has signed to return to Olimpia Milano during the lockout, a story broken by the Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport, via Sportando. He still has an NBA contract so the forward with some serious shooting range has to have an NBA opt out should the lockout get solved.
Milano is the team where Gallinari played before coming to the NBA. He has reportedly been in talks with them for some time but there were issues getting and paying for the insurance on his NBA contract. That apparently has been resolved.
Gallinari has spent three seasons in the NBA, the first two with the Knicks before being traded to Denver in the Carmelo Anthony deal. He averaged 14.7 points per game for the Nuggets after his arrival.
He is expected to hook up with Milano in Spain, where the team is preparing for the season and playing a few friendlies.
Ginobili thinking about Italy, Diaw thinking about France
With the current stalemate in NBA labor discussions, guys who were casually considering going to Europe to play during the lockout are suddenly not so casual. They aren’t ready to commit to a relationship yet (what man is?) but things are getting serious.
That includes Manu Ginobili, the Spurs star who just led his native Argentina to the FIBA Americas title and a 2012 Olympics berth. (Sure, Luis Scola had a little to do with that, if you want the truth.)
“(Virtus Bologna) called my agent and told him they wanted me on board. A lot of things came to my mind and for a second thought about it because of all the things I went through there, but I will evaluate (the option) going forward.”
According to infobae.com (via I am a GM) Ginobili will make his decision in early October. Makes sense, by then we’ll have an idea just how ugly this lockout will be (and it’s not pretty now).
Then there is Boris Diaw, who is still in Lithuania playing for France at EuroBasket (France has advanced to the semi-finals). When that is over he told NBA.com he may stay in France and play for his hometown team during the lockout.
“If there is a lockout I will play in France with my hometown team in Bordeaux,” Diaw told NBA.com on Sunday afternoon in Vilnius, Lithuania, shortly after the French National Team lost to Spain, 96-69.
“For sure I would go ahead and play with them. For me the decision is easy.”
Luckily for Diaw he knows JSA Bordeaux’s front office very well. Diaw is the team president of the club.