Does Kobe Bryant wish he had decided not to come back this season to a struggling Lakers’ squad? Does he wish his career had ended with a different note, maybe a European farewell tour?
He was never likely to do it, but European powerhouse Barcelona made that offer, according to a report in Spanish site mundodeportivo.com, as picked up on by Hoopshype.
The offer, made last summer, was for Kobe to play only in Barcelona’s Euroleague games, which is the equivalent of the Champions League in soccer where the top teams from each country’s club leagues face off against each other. It’s the biggest basketball stage in Europe, where Kobe would have played in major markets against name teams. But he turned them down saying he was not physically up for it.
The offer must have been for next season, as Bryant is under contract to the Lakers this season and I can think of 25 million reasons he was not going to get out of that deal to play in Europe. And after watching Kobe Bryant play one half against the Heat and sit on the bench in the second half wrapped like a mummy due to “general soreness” one would think he’s not going to change his mind now about a European vacation.
But if you’re Barcelona, why not try? While you’re at it, put in a call to former Barca star Pau Gasol and see if he wants to return (he will be a free agent this summer ).