We had heard the word that Italian club Virtus Bologna was hot on the trail of one Kobe Bryant. There was tale of the team ponying up close to $800k per home contest. Now we’ve got some concrete numbers on the amount of cash that could be coming Kobe’s way.
According to reports, Virtus is prepared to pay Mamba close to $7-million for his services should he opt to take a European pay-cation.
Irony is not without a flare for the dramatic and as fate would have it Kobe is scheduled to be in Rome next week for a Nike engagement. You’d expect contract talks of some sort to ensue.
While some sources are already saying Bryant’s interest is lukewarm at best, this is an offer Bryant can’t afford to ignore.
Sure, we know it will be a steep pay cut as Kobe is scheduled to make more that four times as much should there be an NBA season.
We also know KB24 spent some of his youth in Italy and is fluent in the native tongue.
What we know all too well is how much of a competitor he is. There’s no way Kobe spends an entire year on the sideline should the NBA lockout threaten to cancel an entire season. Therefore the offer on the table could be one Bryant simply cannot refuse.
Reports state that Virtus Bologna is prepared to give Kobe plenty of options each of which has an NBA opt-out clause, naturally.
After it is all said and done the place Bryant no doubt wants to ball is in the States. He knows his legacy is on limited time and there are only so many more chances to chase His Airness.
While Bryant has kept overseas options at an arm’s length he’s got to be keeping those offers on a short leash. The recent news of the NBA labor strife doesn’t bode well for the future prospects of the league. Sooner or later every NBA player will be pitted with tough decisions for their future. Bryant doesn’t need the money but he can ill-afford to pass on all these opportunities from a competitive standpoint.