September 30, 2020

Kobe gets $6.7 million offer to play in Italy

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ROME (AP) — Kobe Bryant has been offered $6.7 million to play basketball for an Italian team, appealing to his childhood memories of growing up in the country.

Virtus Bologna general manager Massimo Faraoni tells The Associated Press he’s been on conference calls between Bryant’s agent, Rob Pelinka, Bologna president Claudio Sabatini and main sponsor Canadian Solar, which would provide the cash for such a deal.

The Los Angeles Lakers superstar spent part of his childhood in Italy while his father played in the country. He also speaks Italian.

Virtus has given Bryant four different contract options, stretching from the one-year deal to two-month and one-month options, and a per-game deal that would come out to $739,640 per home game.

The club is offering the deals in case there’s an NBA lockout this season.

Meanwhile the lockout is about to start inflicting damage on the preseason schedule — and neither players nor owners can say what will happen to the real games.

The league will cancel training camps and some exhibition games Friday after failing to reach a new collective bargaining agreement with its players, a person with knowledge of the plans told The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because the league had yet to announce its plans.

Training camps were expected to begin Oct. 3, and the exhibition openers were set for Oct. 9.

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