Blog Entry

Report: Besiktas of Turkey wants Kobe Bryant too

Posted on: July 7, 2011 1:19 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2011 6:06 pm
Turkish club Besiktas says it wants to sign Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant during the NBA lockout. Posted by Ben Golliver. kobe-deron

On Thursday morning, we noted reports that New Jersey Nets All-Star point guard Deron Williams could be headed to play for Besiktas of Turkey if the NBA lockout continues into the fall. Besiktas is the same team that signed Allen Iverson last season.

In a Thursday afternoon interview with the New York Times, Ergin Ataman, coach of Besiktas, confirmed that the team had reached an agreement with Williams and also said his club had its eye on an even higher-profile target: Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant.
“If there’s a possibility, we’ll talk with Kobe if he’d like to play in Europe with Deron and with other guys to play we can talk with him,” Ataman said. “If Kobe would like to play with us, we will also contact his agent and maybe with him.”
Williams playing overseas is surprising. Bryant, who has $80+ million coming to him in salary over the next three seasons, playing overseas would be a shocker.

Kobe is reportedly open to the idea though.

Unlike Williams, Bryant has his age and the deteriorating condition of his knee, which recently required PRP therapy, to consider. At 32, he has a decade's worth of deep playoff runs already on his tires, and imagining Bryant playing competitively overseas is a giant red flag.

His legacy and status as one of the NBA's All-Time greats is still very much up in the air. If he is able to win another title -- or two -- he leapfrogs an entire class of stars to the very upper echelons of the discussion. If he is able to pass Michael Jordan on the NBA's All-Time scoring list, that's another important accomplishment.

Is there any amount of money that would make risking those accomplishments by playing overseas worth it?  

Earlier reports indicate that Bryant could barnstorm through China, which makes a lot of sense. By hitting the globe's biggest market for some exhibition games, Bryant could achieve the biggest possible financial return with the minimum amount of effort expended.

These comments read a bit like a publicity stunt. Then again, with Williams apparently deciding to take the Turkish plunge, we can't be too quick to write off anything.

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: July 8, 2011 11:18 am

Report: Besiktas of Turkey wants Kobe Bryant too

Stupid article -- of course they'd want Kobe, and Lebron, Dirk, D-Wade, etc etc.  So does every other team in Europe.  Kobe is not going to play professionally in Europe.  He doesnt need the money and even if NBA salaries get rolled back 50% (which wont happen) that still means Kobe has $40+ million coming to him from the Lakers, he's not going risk that to play in Turkey.  Just my opinion

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: July 7, 2011 11:30 pm

Report: Besiktas of Turkey wants Kobe Bryant too

The opposite may be true. Kobe may know his body is breaking down and he has a limited time to play. A prolongued lockout may eliminate a third of his remaining career. Maybe he just wants to play or can't see being off a year and being able to get back into form quickly enough. So he loses a year plus 2/3 of a second year getting his game back- not much time left when bone is crunching on bone.

Since: May 6, 2009
Posted on: July 7, 2011 7:48 pm

Report: Besiktas of Turkey wants Kobe Bryant too

It would be something to see NBA players going oversees while the lockout is going on.

Since: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: July 7, 2011 1:31 pm

Kobe + Lebron!

if they get lebron too, they can win big.  both will go to europe for enough money.

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