Update: Kobe Bryant’s Italy Deal Takes a Hit

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Reports have flooded the virtual world this morning after Virtus Bologna President Claudio Sabatini told an Italian radio station that:

“We have reached an economic deal [with Bryant]. There’s still some things to arrange, but at this point I’m very optimistic. I would say it’s 95 percent done.”

The latest offer from Italian club Virtus has Bryant in uniform for the first 40 days of the season (around 10 total games) for $3 million.

What we are learning this morning is that 95% done doesn’t guarantee a deal, and an economic deal isn’t a signed contract. There are still some major hurdles to be overcome, most importantly the refusal from certain teams to re-organize their schedules to accommodate Sabatini’s goal of having Bryant showcased in the leagued biggest arenas.

Due to the recent pushback and other teams’ unwillingness to cooperate with scheduling requests, Virtus Bologna released this statement on their official website this morning:

“With great surprise, Virtus Basketball notes that, due to the negative view of some clubs, it’s not possible to go forward with the 10-game agreement, therefore putting in serious doubt the economic deal behind the plan to bring Kobe Bryant to Italy.”

We’ll have more on this story as it develops.

Jason Riley is the executive director of LakerNation.com. He also pens a regular opinion column, Out of Bounds, and is the co-host of Voice of the Nation: Fastbreak. He currently splits his time in Los Angeles, CA and Carlsbad, CA.