With recent reports contradicting one another as to whether Kobe will play in Turkey during this year’s lockout, the current news would suggest that Kobe will be meeting with Turkish club officials during the month of August, according to a recent piece by the LA Times. Besiktas Coach Ergin Ataman spoke during a telephone interview Thursday about the chance for his team to pick up a second NBA All-Star:
“We made our offer to Kobe and now we are waiting for their comments about the situation,” Ataman said. “But we didn’t talk about details. I think they are thinking now about our offer, and I think in the beginning of August, the first week of August, our president [Yildirim Demiroren] will be in the United States for Deron Williams’ press conference and I think that they will meet to sign in USA with Kobe.”
Bryant is looking to make $1 million a month for Besiktas, twice the amount that Besiktas was reportedly offering to Bryant and almost three times what his possible teammate Deron Williams will be making. While the continuing rumors would suggest that a deal would come quickly rather than over the next few weeks, Ataman saw the conversations with Bryant as a “positive situation”, given the long discussions that the club had with Williams before his signing.
Now that labor discussions have been pushed to August, the possibility of a long-term lockout may push players like Bryant overseas to stay in shape. Still though, with reports that Besiktas has had their assets frozen and with further reports of players not being paid, it may be an extended period of time before we see Kobe moving to Europe.