Please, let this be the end of the Kobe Bryant to Turkey talk. Please.
There have been plenty of rumors swirling about Kobe and talks with Turkish side Besiktas — most of it from club officials in Turkey thinking they had a real shot at landing him. That or playing the marketing game. Either way, they talked a lot.
Kobe pretty much shot the whole idea down Sunday, saying the rumors we’ve all heard were news to him.
At a press conference in Washington D.C. Sunday for the Mia Hamm-Nomar Garciaparra Celebrity Soccer Challenge (in which he played), Kobe was asked about Turkey and seemed bemused by the whole thing (via ESPNLA.com).
“I haven’t spoken to them in weeks,” Kobe said of Besiktas.
Since they team said they were meeting with him and his people this weekend, not a good sign. Not good at all for the Turkish side (Lakers fans like that).
But Kobe also would not rule out playing overseas.
“I’m just waiting for my phone to ring. I’ll play anywhere,” Kobe said, going on to say he would listen to offers.
Listen and play are two different things. Kobe wants another ring, and playing overseas means risking injury and putting more miles on his knees. He’s a competitor, he knows the union could use the leverage of stars talking about leaving, but that is very different than actually leaving. And that is true of more than just Kobe, talk and actually playing in Europe are different things all together.