Kobe “open” to playing in Europe. That’s different than going.

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They want him in Istanbul (and he does endorse Turkish Airlines)…

But would Kobe Bryant play in Turkey? Or in Europe in general? He spent some years of his childhood in Italy, would he return as a professional?

Maybe, according to the twitter account of Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Kobe Bryant is open to considering overseas offers for the duration of NBA lockout, sources familiar with his thinking tell Y! Sports.

Considering offers is very different than actually packing your bags and going.

Kobe is set to make $25.2 million next season, more than any other player in the NBA. Deron Williams is going to get paid $200,000 a month in Turkey, Wojnarowski reported later in the day. Kobe is already working with his agent to set up a barnstorming tour of China, which will be worth far more to his brand than $200,000. Why would he give that up to play in Europe?

And all of that is a risk — any player who gets injured overseas can have his contract voided. Frankly, that’s less of a concern for Kobe (still the Lakers talisman) or even Deron Williams (the Nets still see him as a building block) but it’s a risk.

No European team could come close to paying what Kobe makes in the NBA (he couldn’t get half that). Would he risk all that money to play in Europe for a couple months? That’s not how Kobe works.

But of course he says he’ll consider offers, that’s how you keep pressure on the owners in the negotiations.