This article will look at four European basketball teams Kobe Bryant should consider signing with during the current lockout.
Keep in mind, there is no guarantee Bryant is, would or even could play for the four teams I have selected. My decisions weren’t necessarily based on what makes the most sense, but for entertainment purposes.
After Williams signed with Besiktas, there were ensuing rumors that linked Bryant to signing with the team, but the the rumors eventually fizzled as the offseason wore on.
If Bryant ever did decide to play with Besiktas, it wouldn't be the worst-case scenario. He would have a fellow All-Star to play alongside in Williams, and the country of Turkey would suddenly be the focus of basketball fans across the globe.
There have been recent reports that Kevin Durant is in talks with German-based BBC Bayreuth.
According to the reigning scoring champion, "I'm right on the fence with playing overseas and I'm about to jump over."
If Durant does decide to play for Bayreuth, it would be a basketball fan's dream if Bryant also decided to play for the team.
To have two of top-five players in the league paying on the same international team would certainly make NBA commissioner David Stern a little envious, wouldn’t it?
Also, assuming Dirk Nowitzki ends up signing with a German team during the lockout, Bryant and Durant could get their revenge on Nowitzki for bumping the Lakers and Thunder out of last spring’s postseason.
FC Barcelona has been a powerhouse in European basketball for a number of years. So, it doesn’t necessarily need Kobe Bryant to put butts in the seats.
And who knows, it's possible the Gasol brothers, Pau and Marc, will end up playing for the team if the lockout drags on too much longer.
While it’s a long shot, wouldn’t it be great for Lakers fans to watch Bryant and Pau beat up on the other European teams?
There have been recent rumors of Italy’s Virtus Bologna and Bryant working towards a deal.
Also, Bryant spent a good portion of his childhood in Italy, where his father, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, played basketball professionally. Therefore, I believe if Bryant does decide to play somewhere in Europe, it will be in Italy.
If that’s the case, Jellybean has limited time remaining for being considered the best Bryant to have played professional basketball in Italy.