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Will Kobe Bryant Play in Turkey Next Season?

Kobe Bryant
Chung Sung-Jun, Getty Images

Is Kobe really going to leave us? It’s entirely possible.

After Deron Williams agreed to play for Turkish club Besiktas if the NBA lockout continues, other NBA stars have begun to reconsider their options, with superstar Dwight Howard leading a class of players who are reportedly looking into options overseas. But now Kobe Bryant has emerged as the biggest star mulling a move.

On Friday, The New York Times reported that Besiktas has offered Kobe a deal to add him to their backcourt. “We are optimistic that during the lockout Kobe and Deron Williams will play with our team,” Besiktas coach Ergin Ataman told the Times. In fact, it seems that it was Kobe’s people who reached out to the Turkish squad to initiate talks.

“Bryant has just a few years left with the knees he was born with, and if you think he’s going to spend any of that precious time in Turkey or China, you’re nuts,” says Gregg Doyel at CBS Sports. Plus, the team isn’t offering Kobe enough money to make it worth his while, says Brian Kamenetsky at ESPNLosAngeles. “The offer, though, would have to be overwhelming to make it worth Kobe’s time and effort, and until I see such a deal don’t believe it will come.”

So why would he agree to it? “We’re guessing this has something to do with global branding and international exposure and a bunch of stuff that seems way to grand to be real,” says Jeff Miller at The Orange County Register. Yeah, it’s motivated by business, says ESPN’s Chris Broussard. “If Kobe Bryant signed with Besiktas in Turkey, can you imagine how many of his Besiktas jerseys would sell worldwide? Even here in the States, my guess is that a Bryant Besiktas jersey would be a huge seller.”

[The New York Times]


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