While the NBA season is being read its last rites by David Stern, Kobe Bryant’s management is working hard to export the game’s biggest name to Italy.
According to the AP, both Bryant’s management team and Italian club Virtus Bologna have released a joint statement updating the status of the ongoing negotiations.
“Virtus Pallacanestro Bologna and the management of Mr. Bryant are working very intensely to try and create this important deal. Reaching such a complex deal requires both sides’ maximum attention for every little detail.
“Everyone wants a positive outcome to the deal, the goal of which is Kobe Bryant’s presence in Italy, economic interests for the 17 clubs in Serie A and more attention for all of Italian basketball.”
Of course if you’ve been following this story – hopefully here on LSL – they you’ll know that this is not a contractual thing. Bryant has supposedly already agreed to financial terms for a short-term contract.
The real issue now is the rescheduling of games in order for Virtus Bologna to get the most bang for it’s…ah…lira while Bryant is in the country for just over a month.
This is no easy feat.
Could you imagine the NBA asking its teams to reschedule their games in order for one of the opposing teams to get maximal home dates for one player?
That’s exactly what Virtus Bologna is asking and that’s exactly what is preventing the final announcement of this deal.
Still, it says a lot that the Italian league is trying to move their basketball earth for one player while the union and owners can’t hammer out a deal to get more than 400 players back to work.
But this is where we are in the current state of hoops.