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After months of speculation about whether or not Lakers guard Kobe Bryant would play overseas during the NBA lockout, a decision has finally been made. According to the Associated Press, Virtus Bologna and Bryant have verbally agreed to a contract that will pay the star guard $3 million over a span of the first 40 games of the Italian League season. In an interview with a Roman radio station, team president Claudio Sabatini all but confirmed the signing, saying, “There’s still some things to arrange but at this point I’m very optimistic. I would say it’s 95 percent done.”

As we reported earlier this week, Bryant was quoted as saying that it would be “very possible” that he would play for Bologna. Bryant spent much of his childhood in Italy while his father, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant played there professionally. Bryant has even been quoted as saying that Italy is “my home.”

There has been much debate as to whether or not Kobe Bryant should compete overseas during the lockout. Supporters of his decision will suggest that Bryant needs to keep active in some way during the elongated off-season and that playing professionally overseas will keep his body in basketball shape and keep the competitive juices flowing. Detractors will point to Bryant’s age and health issues over recent seasons and feel he’d be better suited to take as much time off as possible and use the lockout as extra time to rest before having to compete in the NBA again. Whatever your stance on the development is, theres no doubt that the offseason just got a little more interesting for Laker fans.

  • Anonymous

    I have two questions.
    1- When does the Italian League season start?
    2- Where can I watch it on TV or the interweb?

  • Rockon Ent

    Damn! I hope there is a stipulation that he can come back to the league once this lock out is over.  I’m speaking positive about the situation. The age has nothing to do with it.  Michael Jordan was well in his 30’s when he won his last championship but played like he was just as young as the rest of them.  I just hope Kobe does not get seriously injured.

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  • GreenPuke

    Wow You talk about Doing a 360 Man this Is the Ultimate dis to the Laker Fans to go play for itlay when you dont even know there will be at least 50 games to be played wow all I got to say is Kiss that 6th ring goodbye Im totally pissed 5 titles and you can get your 6th but you gonna blow the Laker Fans over a Italian League wow 

  • Anonymous

    hes not blowing anything away he just wants to play. Once the season starts he will be back.

  • rh31

    where can I buy tickets?! I’m studying abroad in Italy right now…

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