Last month, Kobe Bryant was sitting on a folding chair following another practice at the U.S. senior national team’s training camp at Valley High in Las Vegas. He was surrounded by maybe eight or 10 reporters ready to ask him questions about all sorts of different subjects, most regarding the Americans’ impending trip to China for the Olympic Games.
Given that erstwhile Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Childress recently had signed to take his game to Greece, and that we weren’t all that far removed from U.S. high schooler Brandon Jennings accepting an offer to play in Italy, somebody asked if Bryant would accept a $50 million offer to play in Europe.
“Fifty million, two years? We goin’ to Milan. We in Milan,” Bryant said.
He pointed to Dwyane Wade, seated nearby.
“See that. That’s the backcourt. Fifty million, two years. We’re there. And ownership,” Bryant said. “(For) ownership, five years. Done.”
Then, and this will be hard to quote with precise accuracy, he said, “Ha, ha, ha.” (How does one spell out a hearty laugh, anyway?)
Read over his quotes again, if you like. He mocked the question. He considered it to be a joke. Because no one has offered him, or anyone else, $50 million a year to play basketball in Europe, and it’s likely no one ever will, because he wouldn’t take it if it were offered during his prime.