For international clubs looking to sign an American star, Kobe Bryant is the biggest fish in (or across) the pond. The Laker guard remains the most recognizable active player on the planet, the most marketable, plus there’s the whole “he’s really good” thing.
Kobe has been offered $600,000 per home game to play for Virtus Bologna in the Italian league, the team’s owner told Bolognabasket.it (via I am a GM). The offer would start on Nov. 13, when the Italian team starts play (and far enough into an NBA lockout that Kobe would have an idea how long things might last). His deal would have to have an NBA opt out for when the lockout ends.
That’s a lot of money to turn away from, especially if the Bank of Kobe is open.
Remember Kobe has Italian roots, having lived there for years as a youth while his father played in Italy. He loves the country. Kobe speaks fluent Italian, so he would be able to cuss at opponents and teammates in their native tongue.
The question with Kobe has been would a guy set to make $25 million in the NBA and who desperately wants a sixth ring risk injury and put more miles on his legs for any amount of money?
If he is, this is not the only big money offer that will be out there.