Saturday, October 1, 2011

Bryant Joined Virtus Bologna optimistic!

ROME -- The president of Virtus Bologna is optimistic Kobe Bryant will sign with the Italian club during the NBA lockout despite scheduling problems posed by other teams. Claudio Sabatini told The Associated Press on Friday that Bryant's agent, Rob Pelinka, agreed to an arrangement for...35 to 40 days worth more than $3 million -- for about 10 games. "We're very confident the deal can be completed," Sabatini said. "We're prepared to make a big investment." Sabatini said a Bologna-based food company is prepared to provide the cash."Kobe and his agent have been very professional throughout the dealings and it's been a pleasure to work with them," Sabatini said. "I have a huge amount of respect for Kobe not just as a player, but also as a person."

The NBA season is scheduled to open Nov. 1 but owners and players have failed to agree on a new labor deal. The sides are at odds over how to divide the league's revenue, a salary-cap structure and the length of guaranteed contracts. Last week, the NBA postponed training camps and canceled 43 preseason games.
Virtus has won 15 Italian league titles but none since 2001, when it also won the Euroleague for the second time. Bologna did not qualify for this season's Euroleague. The team has big ambitions, though, after signing former Clemson point guard Terrell McIntyre, who led Siena to four consecutive Italian titles before transferring to Malaga in Spain before last season.

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