By Matt Moore

Turkish teams rushed into the fold. Then China started dabbling. Russia, Greece, the usual players have come to the table. Now Italy has its professional basketball teams charging the field to claim the crown jewel of lockout-available NBA players. reports that Virtus Bologna, which has been pursuing Manu Ginobili and who recently signed Chris Douglas-Roberts, has made an offer to Kobe Bryant for $800,000 per home game, or $600,000 net. Which is kind of a lot of money for anyone, even Kobe Bryant. Bryant has previously turned down offers from Besiktas in Turkey and has played the international game cool while repeatedly saying his options remain open. Virtus may be in a better position at most, however, given the fact that Bryant spent a considerable amount of his youth in Italy with his father playing professionally there.

Italy’s season won’t start until November, which means Bryant could take the offer knowing that the lockout is likely to drag on past the beginning of the year. Bryant could really use the rest on his body and doesn’t need the money, obviously, but that’s not how his mind works, by any and all accounts. He’ll pursue playing basketball and beating opponents and making money, because that’s what he does.

Can’t expect a snake not to be a snake, now.


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