Is the European league’s status in the basketball world growing?
Most definitely, yes!
There strong teams, players, money offers and quite possibly better country selection squads already caught the eyes of super star LeBron James, but now, league-MVP Kobe Bryant.
After hearing about King James and the offers he may receive to play overseas for the rumored amount of $50 million a year, Bryant said he wouldn't mind playing for an Italian team if offered the same price.
“I’d go. I’d probably go,” said Bryant, during a USA Basketball press conference on Friday morning. “Like Milan or something like that, where I grew up or something like that… Peace out.”
Bryant continued: “Do you know any reasonable person that would turn down 50 (million dollars)?”
The Los Angeles star grew up in Italy, while his father Joe played professionally. In 1999, Bryant bought 50 percent ownership of Olimpia Milano of the Italian Professional Basketball League.
He also stated in an interview held by the Boston globe:
“Because I grew up in Italy it has more significance to me because I’m more familiar with it, I’ve been there and I still have friends there,” said Bryant, a three-time NBA champion. “I’m thinking about buying a house out there. It would be nothing to me to be able to do that.”
These comments by Bryant and James, and with the departure of Josh Childress and Earl Boykins, among others, could massacre the best league in the world. David Stern has a lot of work to do over the summer in trying to figure out how to counter attack.
Kobe's statements not only hurts the NBA, but the Western Conference champs. Last summer, Bryant also made remarks that hurt his team with him wanting to be traded. Now, number 24 comes out with these statements after, owner Jerry Buss did everything possible in his pursuit for a championship.
Did Kobe really grow up like everyone said he has? Or is $50 million a year too tempting of an offer?
Let me know!