Kobe’s Italian Adventure … Not So Fast

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Since there is still some doubt as to whether or not a deal will be finalized, we won’t proclaim Kobe Bryant as a member of the Italian professional basketball team Virtus Bologna.

But it appears that the Los Angeles Lakers superstar is certainly interested in finding a place to sharpen his skills back his in his beloved Italy:

“Italy is my home,” Bryant told reporters earlier this week while on a promotional tour in Italy. “It’s where my dream of playing in the NBA started. This is where I learned the fundamentals, learned to shoot, to pass and to [move] without the ball … all things that when I came back to America, the players my age didn’t know how to do because they were only thinking about jumping and dunking.”

Like we said, there appear to be some serious complications  (per the Los Angeles Times) surrounding potential deal that would see Bryant complete the agreement to join the team for the first 40 days of the Italian League season, beginning Oct. 9, for a cool $3 million.

Unlike many of his NBA counterparts that have flirted with and even embraced the idea of playing overseas during the lockout, Bryant has extensive ties to Italy. He spent his formative years there while his father, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, starred in the Italian League.

There is also the issue of the NBA labor meetings going on today and through this weekend in New York. Progress made in those meetings could certainly have an impact on whether or not Bryant decides to continue to pursue what he called “a dream” to play in the Italian League.

As interesting as it might be to see what sort of impact he could have overseas, even during an abbreviated 10-game stint, it sounds more and more likely that it might not happen.


  1. Pat Brown says:

    I am definetly a Kobe and NBA fan. Kobe is truly my favorite player ever, but if he get the opportunity to play in Italy so beat it. If the players and the owners can not come in agreement soon with the lockout, these players should go play elsewhere. These are ball player and should be playing ball whether it in the US or outside. Kobe I support your decision whatever it may be. Go make someone else happy like you have done for me so many years. You will still be my #1 player of all time.

  2. joaquez ratliff says:


  3. Michele P. says:

    I know for ya’ll it could be strange… the best player of the NBA leaving LA to play in Bologna. But for us it would be just a dream. You guys can see him play whenever you want to and some of you even don’t care anymore about it: your arenas are not always full and everyday fewer and fewer people goes to watch a NBA game. Here it would be different. there are millions of NBA fans out of the USA that are dreaming just reading that MAYBE he will come to play here. No matter if they support the Celtics, The Heat or the Bulls they will still go and buy a ticket to realize their dream to see the best NBA player after MJ playing. I know people that pay thousands of dollars just to fly to the US and attend a NBA game because for them it’s just the realization of a dream. So please, don’t be selfish and let us live our dream, u will have hundreds of occasion to see him playing again and maybe appreciate a little bit more what you have always had.


    From Italy

  4. Daniele M. says:

    Wow!!! I am from Milan and I always been a Virtus Fan!!! After Manu Ginobili (for me one of the greatest closed to MJ Kobe as a guard) would be history having in our team also “Il Mamba nero”. Com’ on… Kobe … Go Virtus! GO V NERE! We are Basket Ball. My friends here in Milan support Olimpia (Gallinari’s native team) and I said: If KB will play just only one game here I’m going to be naked to the local BAR…. and for sure I’ll do it!

    need from Milan

  5. Andrea says:


  6. Manu says:

    God, it would be a dream (but I still hope), I’ve already bought a ticket for Junior Casale vs. Virtus, October 16, although I did not know if he would come.
    I almost hope that the NBA does not start (I’m kidding ..!)
    You’re used to in America, you see him play 82 times in the regular season plus the playoffs in a year, but for us here in Italy he is just an image (amazing image) on television.
    Your pessimism makes me sick to my heart ..
    Greetings all, I love the NBA

  7. Valeriano Cunati says:

    i hope Bryant will come here in italy to play for 10 or more than 10 games!! Varese is not a smaller team, it has been 5 times europe champion !! (among 10 champion’s league final played in 10 years from 1970 to 1979!!!) Virtus Bologna is a big team as Varese and Milano, has won great titles from 1998 to 2002! I ‘ m from Varese , but i’m going to be a Virtus fan the day Kobe will move to us to play for virtus!!!