Reports: Kobe to Italy deal “95 percent done” – UPDATED

From Andrew Dampf of The Associated Press:

“Italian club Virtus Bologna said it has reached a verbal agreement with Kobe Bryant for the Los Angeles Lakers star to play in Italy during the NBA lockout. “We have reached an economic deal,” Virtus president Claudio Sabatini told a local radio station. “There’s still some things to arrange but at this point I’m very optimistic. I would say it’s 95 percent done.” A person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press on Friday that the sides have settled on a $3 million contract for the opening 40 days of the Italian league season. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has still not been signed.”

From Sportando:

In another interview, Claudio Sabatini confirmed that the agreement between Virtus Bologna and Kobe Bryant is for 10 games. The owner of Virtus Bologna added that the deal could be official today.

“The agreement is for ten games. We don’t have money also for the 11th one. I hope that today in the NBA they won’t find the agreement to start the season” said Claudio Sabatini. We also wish that in the morning in Los Angeles they will send us the contract’s draft. I want to thank Kobe Bryant’s agent. The negotiation with him was great and very professional” added Sabatini who hopes to have Bryant for the 1st round of Serie A against Virtus Roma on October 9th. “We are already planning the event. It is not easy because today he will be in the States and he has to go to our embassy to get the visa, he needs the letter of clearance from the NBA which allows him to sign with us and then be back to Italy to have medical tests. We have to send his contract to Legabasket by next Friday” ended Sabatini.


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