According to a couple of reports, Kobe Bryant was very close to inking a deal with Besiktas. After signing Deron Williams, the Turkish club immediately set their sights on KB24. Apparently they were very close to landing their man.
Bryant was set to receive a healthy sum of $450,000 a month until Besiktas had their bank accounts frozen due to a match fixing scandal involving the football (aka soccer) club.
Kobe’s deal was worth nearly twice that of D-Will and most certainly would have included an NBA opt-out clause.
So much for the league’s best players being unwilling to risk injury overseas. David Stern and his flunkies will have to find another way to hate on the players making a living outside the NBA.
Now where the NBA does have an argument is that they’ve never had to deal with match fixing scandals…oh, wait…never mind. Almost forget about that whole Tim Donaghy thingy…oops.
Still, D-Will has got to be a little worried. There were already rumors of Besiktas having payroll issues when Allen Iverson was playing for the club. However it should be noted most of those payroll issues related to everyone except AI who apparently always received his check on time.
As for Kobe getting nearly double D-Will’s rate. What can you say? What’s true in the States is true anywhere else hoops is played: winning titles makes you invaluable anywhere you go.