LOS ANGELES – Whether you think it’s nothing but a bunch of lying liars lying or not, the talk about NBA players heading oveseas to play won’t be stopping any time soon. And lest you think that a match-fixing scandal that has frozen the assets of the Turkish team that recently signed Deron Williams would stop them in their pursuit of Kobe Bryant, think again. In fact, their coach says talks have already begun. From the Los Angeles Times:
Ataman said the team is trying to satisfy Bryant’s salary demands so that he can join New Jersey Nets All-Star point guard Deron Williams on the team. Williams signed with Besiktas about a week ago.
“We made our offer to Kobe and now we are waiting for their comments about the situation,” Ataman said. “But we didnt 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.”
More specifically, Ataman states that they have been in contact with a sponsor to help cover Bryant’s salary. That was a major hangup in a Thursday afternoon report. Bryant has a sponsorship with Turkish Airlines, but they have not been discussed as a possible sponsor for a Besiktas contract.
It’s surprising that Besiktas continues to pursue Bryant despite the match-fixing issue and the fact that Bryant has yet to publicly speak on the supposed talks, even through a representative. Until he does, people will still be incredibly suspicious about the idea of Bryant spending next fall in Istanbul.
Laker fans have to be nervous about a potential Turkish escapade for the five-time champion. Bryant’s finally had a long offseason to recover from his myriad injuries he’s played through over the past couple of seasons. Playing abroad only puts more miles on tires that have seen better days.