Tyler’s Top Ten
Kobe to Virtus Bologna? Why would he?
These are among ten reasons why Kobe Bryant and camp decided to reject Italian league team, Virtus Bologna, and their ploy to try and sign Bryant to a deal. Although, I believe the second list has more merit, naturally.
10. V.B. couldn’t get a deal done in time
With the confusion and unrest seeking to unravel the NBA altogether, Virtus Bologna had its time to work a deal to coax Kobe Bryant into getting out of the situation and just playing basketball. The window slowly closed; now all that’s left for the seemingly desperate Italian club is a consolation, tribute game celebrating the guy who most likely rejected the deal himself.
9. Though the lockout continues, the season isn’t out of reach
Until David Stern, the players and owners get sick of going around in an endless circle and agree a season is not viable for this year, this one is still salvageable. With a pending season and an unclear contract with regards to switching back to the NBA, Bryant’s camp may have told him to wait until a clear verdict is announced.
8. Kobe’s camp was harder to deal with than expected
According to Virtus Bologna representatives, Bryant’s staff (i.e. lawyers, reps, endorsers, etc.) has put up a challenge in finalizing a deal. Though the money never seemed to be a problem (keep that in mind) with Kobe being offered a 10-game contract worth more than $3 million, endorsers and reps worry about keeping their asset safe for the more commercially demanding NBA season should there be one.
7. Kobe has come to realize his time is short and frail bones need their rest
Kobe still has miles left in his tank, but with comments about his knee being just “bone on bone” and a litany of other injuries in the last few seasons sidelining him, maybe he was smart enough to take some advice from every Laker fan praying the only home games Kobe ever plays from here forward are at Staples.
6. Kobe wanted to stay close to the lockout issues
As a front-running, iconic superstar, product and representative of the NBA, Kobe Bryant will probably need to stay close to the Collective Bargaining Agreement debate in order to promote his view and be assured the players won’t take a hit with the new proposal.
5. Kobe wants to survey his opportunities, find the right deal
With players like Derron Williams already embarking on their overseas campaigns for foreign teams, Kobe has remained quiet about his preference of foreign clubs. Although he says playing in Italy would be a “dream,” it may remain just that, a dream. With interest from China, Turkey and Italy, Kobe and camp could quite possibly still be waiting for the right deal.
4. Virtus Bologna may not have the necessary tools to persuade a figure like Kobe
Despite generating serious buzz about attracting Kobe to their team, Virtus Bologna is still a small market team with ambitious management. The resources and up-front money may be enough to entice a tribute game from Kobe, but for them to be serious contenders in getting Kobe to wear anything but purple and gold for even a portion of a season is a stretch.
3. Jerry Buss has contacted Kobe telling him not to go
This is speculation of course, but definitely up for discussion; obviously Jerry Buss doesn’t want the most marketable player on his franchise wearing anything but a Lakers logo on it or getting hurt. Technically, he is still Kobe’s boss, lockout or no lockout, and pays Kobe his salary. Even the great Black Mamba falls into a chain of command.
2. Focusing on another championship is all that matters to Kobe
Understanding his sand timer of a career is but a handful of grains on the topside, Bryant thirsts more than anything to even Michael Jordan, the man to whom he has been compared his whole tenure in the NBA, in championship titles and rings. Fans of Kobe and the Lakers want nothing more than to believe in a Kobe committed to the Lakers and winning, and if going overseas hinders that at all, best not go for it.
1. Kobe never planned to go overseas in the first place
If you’ve followed Kobe Bryant over the years, you know Kobe is a guy who mirrors his physical games with mental ones. Kobe might be trying to spark a league or press-wide hiatus of confusion wondering where and when he will go, when in fact he wasn’t planning on going at all, even for a tribute exhibition game. As frustrating as that is, it takes away from a lot of other story lines Kobe may be trying to avoid (hint: being swept by the Mavs, Phil Jackson’s last playoffs, the lockout, his relationship with Mike Brown, etc.)… Just sayin’.
Okay, devoid of those reasons, I think there are better reasons for Kobe not going. Although I can’t reveal the sources of the following more “intelligent” list for Kobe Bryant’s disapproval of the Virtus Bologna proposal, it is identifiably more accurate.
"Real" Top 10
10. Kobe’s wife won’t let him go for fear she will lose her spot on Real Housewives of Orange County
According to “non-speculative” rumors, Kobe Bryant is on a short leash with his wife, Vanessa, who has been waiting for three years to be the next queen of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Orange County.” Even the great Black Mamba falls into a chain of command.
9. Camp Kobe is really taking a vacation
With influx of money from national and global endorsement during the lockout, it is reported Kobe’s camp and staff have taken a vacation and haven’t even looked at or talked about Virtus Bologna’s proposal; this despite the camp vacationing in Italy somewhere.
8. Kobe’s knees
Bone on bone is better than broken or shattered bone on bone; the less Kobe plays, the better and he knows that.
7. They don’t celebrate Halloween in Italy
Not only would Kobe’s two daughters, Gianna and Natalia, miss their favorite candy-crazed holiday, there’s nothing scarier than being an NBA player during the NBA lockout where the owners have the upper hand.
6. He doesn’t need to go that far to avoid talking to Mike Brown
He already does that from 20 miles away, no problem. Nothing more need be said.
5. He already has Derek Fisher doing all his work in the lockout discussion
He needs to stay here and make sure to tell “D-Fish” all his wants and needs from a salary and Lakers perspective. Using Fisher as a puppet for the lockout is difficult calling internationally; charges get pretty high from Italy to the US.
4. Kobe really just wanted a tribute game
Even if Kobe refused the Virtus Bologna portioned season deal, he really just wants a tribute game in his honor. He understands he hasn’t played any basketball there since leaving as an adolescent, but Lebron got one in Miami, so this would be a good chance to one up him and make it an International bash, where he could go into a chant about “one, two, three, four, five…” and say he actually has that many.
3. Kobe’s not too happy about being number 7
After being picked number 7th best player in #ESPN Rank, Kobe feels going overseas isn’t going to sway the minds of unknown voters. Maybe sticking around, staying healthy and winning two or three more championships might.
2. Let’s be honest, Kobe can make more than 3 million for ten games
It’s true, but I’d still take the money and play, have a little wine, and enjoy a Tuscan sunset, but then again…
1. Kobe really wants a chance to be on reality TV
I don’t think I can see Kobe Bryant pulling a “Jersey Shore” and filming a reality show in Italy. But we all know he, along with his wife, wants to star in his own show after seeing Lamar get all the reality TV attention when clearly Kobe is the more talented player. Oh, and rap artist, who could forget that.
Have any better ideas? Let me know in the comments section...Back to the Los Angeles Lakers Newsfeed