Tag:Kobe Bryant
Posted on: October 19, 2011 3:26 pm

Report: NBA stars planning overseas tour

Posted by Royce Young

I think we can all agree that the charity hoops circuit is a little played out. NBA fans are ready for real basketball. From Washington D.C. to Philadelphia to Miami to Los Angeles to Oklahoma City, fans have seen their stars play glorified pickup games. It's getting a little old now.

So the players have recognized that and are taking the next step: They're taking their talents overseas.

No, not to play professionally. They're taking their charity games on tour. Via ESPN.com:
While the final details are still being worked out, more than a dozen of the league's best players are working to join forces on what would be a two-week, six-game, three-continent blockbuster tour, sources said.

In a trip that could resemble Team USA's takeover of the world stage at the 2008 Beijing Games, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Rajon Rondo, Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook, Carlos Boozer, Paul Pierce and Kevin Love are among the players expected to participate. Kevin Durant and Kevin Garnett, among a few others, are also contemplating joining the tour.

The tour is planned to take two weeks and has been in construction for some three months by Atlanta business mogul Calvin Darden. While some players have actually reportedly signed contracts to play in this, there's a chance it could fall apart. One major reason being if a labor deal is worked out.

The tour is scheduled to start Oct. 30 and go through Nov. 9 with stops in Puerto Rico, London, Macau and Australia. Each game will be held in arenas with at least 15,000 seats. There's a hope to air the games internationally as well as in the U.S. too.

Here's the kicker: The players will make some bank off this too. The report says players will receive somewhere between a six-figure payout and $1 million. "Some" of the money will go to charity.

Here's to hoping the whole thing falls apart because the players are in training camp by then.
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:43 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2011 1:45 pm

So maybe Virtus hasn't given up on Kobe

Posted by Royce Young

So... maybe Virtus Bologna hasn't given up on Kobe yet. Tuesday, by all appearances, the ridiculous pursuit of Kobe Bryant seemed to be fizzling out. Claudio Sabatini, the team's owner, finally had packed it in.

But not so fast. It's not done yet. Well, not done according to Virtus Bologna. It's probably been done in Kobe's mind for a long time. Via Sportando, a press release by the team sent out Wednesday said this:

"Virtus informs that the negotiations are still on. The two parts are working on a deal who will try to define the arrival of Kobe Bryant in Italy in the middle of November."

Give. It. Up. Good grief. If Virtus ever does land Kobe for a game -- or even a quarter -- there's going to be a championship parade scheduled I bet. This has been quite the saga. An annoying one for sure, but credit Virtus and Sabatini -- they don't seem to take no for an answer. Persistence. Maybe it'll pay off.

I think what sometimes happens in these situations though is that a team will make it seem that negotiations are ongoing to drive up interest in the team. Besiktas did this well in its perceived pursuit of Kobe and Kevin Durant. I don't think they were ever going to sign either, but the appearance of it gave confidence to fans and sponsors. So maybe it's all one brilliant PR ploy from Sabatini.

You know what they need to do? Get an infidelity site to sponsor them. That'll get it done.
Category: NBA
Posted on: October 18, 2011 11:58 am
Edited on: October 18, 2011 11:59 am

Virtus Bologna finally backs off pursuit of Kobe

Posted by Royce Young

Somebody should probably stay with Virtus Bologna president Claudio Sabatini for a few days. Because he's going to need some support.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport via Sportando, Virtus Bologna has finally relinquished and given up their pursuit of Kobe Bryant. According to the report, the demands by Kobe's agent, Rob Pelinka, were just too much and too high for the Italian club.

This of course after Sabatini reportedly offered $2 million for a single exhibition game. He even tried to re-work Bologna's schedule with other teams so that games with Kobe could be played in the biggest arena in Italy.

Oh, and he even tried to solicit Barack Obama for help. The guy was desperate, OK?

Is this end of the saga though? Doesn't really feel like it. Sabatini is a lover scorned, but probably won't go quietly into the night. He wants Kobe. Bad. And he's either going to up his ante or back off entirely. If he starts writing letters to the United Nations, then we'll know he's ready to try again.

Category: NBA
Posted on: October 17, 2011 5:52 pm

Report: League official: Garnett halted progress

Posted by Royce Young

Over the weekend, we told you about how a few of the NBA's heaviest hitters intervened in labor negotiations, possibly halting some of the progress. But according to Yahoo! Sports, "halting" isn't exactly the right word for what Kevin Garnett did.
This fight has grown nastier, more personal, in the past weeks. Privately, management insists that everything changed when the Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett walked into the negotiating room on Oct. 4. The owners knew it wouldn’t go well when Garnett started glowering across the table, sources said, like the league lawyers, owners and officials were opponents at the center jump. He was defiant, determined and downright ornery. He was K.G. Everyone knew Hunter had to cede to the wishes of the stars, and the stars demanded that the players stop making confessions to the owners.

As one league official said, “We were making progress, until Garnett [expletive] everything up.”

Well then. I don't know how one guy could walk into a bargaining environment that he hadn't been in yet and blow everything to pieces, but it sounds like Garnett may have done exactly that. Pointing fingers? Yelling? Just being Kevin Garnett in general? There's no telling, but according to this report, it wasn't good.

Players need to be involved because this is their deal. But with superstars comes egos. They've always gotten what they wanted and feel entitled to not just have their voice heard (loudly), but also for their opinion to be taken seriously. And that's likely what happened when Kobe, Garnett and others strolled into the talks.

It sounds a bit dramatic that Garnett "bleeped" everything up, but who knows. Labor negotiations are a delicate thing and maybe Garnett said something that made other players dig in their heels. Maybe he said something that ticked off owners and did likewise for them. Who knows.

All we really know is that it's Oct. 17 and there's still not a deal.
Posted on: October 13, 2011 2:41 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2011 2:41 pm

What players are losing the most in a lockout?

Posted by Royce Young

The whole strategy for owners in cancelling games is to make players miss paychecks. Maybe them miss out on collecting their large lump sums of money and ideally, you force them into taking a less than attractive deal.

That's the plan, at least.

The question is, how much will players be losing exactly by missing paychecks? We already know it's something like $80 million collectively per week, but who's taking the hit in their wallet the most? The Post Game did some crunching and here are your top 10 losers in this lockout.

10. Joe Johnson: $1,387,582.54 per paycheck
9. Amar'e Stoudemire: $1,401,361.92 per paycheck
8. Carmelo Anthony: $1,423,076.92 per paycheck
7. Pau Gasol: $1,439,550 per paycheck
6. Dirk Nowitzki: $1,468,682.54 per paycheck
5. Gilbert Arenas: $1,482,254.46 per paycheck
4. Kevin Garnett: $1,630,769.23 per paycheck
3. Tim Duncan $1,638,461.54 per paycheck
2. Rashard Lewis: $1,704,000 per paycheck
1. Kobe Bryant: $1,941,846.15 per paycheck

How did they arrive at those numbers. Here's the explanation:
Methodology: During the 1998-99 lockout, players lost pay based upon games missed. So, if a player missed one game due to the lockout, it would have cost him 1/82nd of his salary. However, since all players have slightly different schedules, we calculated pay on a paycheck basis.

Players are only paid during the regular season and receive checks bi-weekly for work that occurs the previous two weeks. The 2011-12 NBA season was supposed to have started on Nov. 1 and end on April 18. During the course of the season, that can be divided into 13 bi-weekly paychecks. The numbers were calculated by equally dividing each player's 2011-12 salary 13 times to find what they earn every two weeks during the season.

It shouldn't surprise you that Kobe is losing the most per paycheck in a lockout as he's the highest paid player in the league And the crazy thing about Kobe losing nearly $2 million per paycheck missed during the lockout is that he can recover that by playing one little exhibition game in Italy.

But it's always strange to see Rashard Lewis' name atop any of these type of lists. Yeah, I know he signed a massively ridiculous six-year $118 million deal a few years ago, but the fact he's second on this list blows the mind.

I know it's not big news to know that NBA players are going to lose a lot of money by missing paychecks, but it kind of stunned me just how much when broken down like this. I mean, think about two months missed for someone like Dirk. That's a whole lot of cash. Everyone says the players that will end up folding are the mid-level guys that make substantially less. I'm sure they will. But if I'm Tim Duncan or Kevin Garnett, I'm not exactly excited about losing $1.5 million or so every couple weeks.
Posted on: October 13, 2011 12:51 pm

Virtus Bologna sends letter to Obama to get Kobe

Posted by Royce Young

You have to hand it to Claudio Sabatini, the owner of Italian club Virtus Bologna. He's persistent.

After supposedly narrowing down a deal with Kobe Bryant to one game for $2 million, Sabatini evidently agreed to a video conference with Kobe's representatives to hammer out details or maybe not details at all, according to La Gazzetta de Sporto. The conference was at midnight.

But Kobe's people never showed up. Sabatini evidently sat waiting for three more hours until 3 a.m., before finally logging off and saying, "I'm not sure how to interpret this." I don't think any interpretation should be needed, Claudio. You got stood up.

Not to be discouraged though, Sabatini did the next, most logical thing. He wrote a letter to Barack Obama. And he invoked a little Martin Luther King Jr. to add a little sizzle. Seriously.

We would have liked to keep the message confidential and private. We sent it to the President of the United States of America Barack Obama last night, but in order to avoid misunderstandings, we publish the content of the above mentioned letter.

Dear Mr. President,

We have a dream: to see Kobe Bryant playing for our Team Virtus Pallacanestro Bologna, the Italian town wellknown in the world as basket City.

According to your wishes we hope that the Nba lockout will shortly stop but in the meanwhile let us have the chance to see at least for one game the great Kobe Bryant playing with our black and white jersey and be part of our history.

Claudio Sabatini

If that doesn't get Kobe to Italy, then I'm not sure anything will.

Via Deadspin
Category: NBA
Posted on: October 12, 2011 1:47 pm
Edited on: October 18, 2011 11:58 am

Kobe to play exhibition in Italy for $2 million?

Posted by Royce Young

I'll tell you what, it really seems like Kobe Bryant can negotiate. He went from getting somthing like $2.5 million for a month in Italy with Virtus Bologna to getting $2 million for a single game. Seriously. Via Sportando:
Kobe Bryant, as reported by Il Resto del Carlino, is close to accepting the single game proposal made by Claudio Sabatini, owner of Virtus Bologna. The two parts are negotiating intensively in the last hour and a solution for the saga seems close to end. Kobe Bryant would land in Italy for four days and play one game in the 'Kobe Night'. According to Sabatini there are already sponsors and networks ready to cover the event.

Sabatini offered to Bryant $2M for the single game.
Clearly, Virtus is desperate to bring Kobe over but clearly Kobe doesn't have any real interest in signing something long term. But every time something has leaked in this little back-and-forth with Kobe and Virtus, things blew up. If you remember, there was one report saying a deal was "95 percent" done.

But for $2 million to play in an exhibition game? That sounds like pretty easy money to me. Comparitively, for the Lakers, Kobe would make $307,859 per game (assuming he played all 82) next season.
Category: NBA
Posted on: October 10, 2011 2:43 pm

Player Kobe most wants to play with? Melo

Posted by Royce Young

Kobe Bryant has had it pretty good during his career. He's had the good fortune to have great players like Shaquille O'Neal, Karl Malone, Gary Payton and Pau Gasol as teammates at different times in his career.

But what current NBA player would Kobe most like to play with? Dwight Howard, right?


Via HoopsWorld:
“I would actually like to play with Melo.” Bryant said. “Championships are won on the inside and I’m always thinking about winning the title. I would love to play with Melo because I would know that I have an inside presence. That’s really been the biggest strength with our Lakers team. We have a lot of guys who can play in the post, and that’s how you win championships. I can post, Lamar [Odom] can post, Ron [Artest] can post, Pau [Gasol] can post and Andrew [Bynum] can post. Teams are usually lucky if they have one guy that can control the block. But yeah, I would love to play with Melo.”
Kobe's reasoning for Melo is a bit odd. He says over and over how championships are won inside and goes on about how good all the Lakers are at posting. And then just throws in that playing with Melo would be cool. Is he saying because Melo is good in the post from his small forward position? I don't really get it.

The question is, how would Melo and Kobe work together? Melo likes to get his shots. Kobe likes to get his shots. There would have to be some serious sacrafice between the two because both truly prefer to live on the wing and isolate for themselves.

Oh, and I guess if you want to speculate that Kobe's going to finish his career in New York -- with Phil Jackson as the coach, of course, and Chris Paul at point guard, naturally -- Kobe's contract is up in 2014. Go crazy, everybody.
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