With the start of the season in serious question, the lockout plans of many players are starting to crystallize. For Kobe Bryant, a trip to Italy with Virtus Bologna is still a very real possibility.
(And if he does, expect to see a lot of this on Italian TV.)
Should Bryant sign, he'll share a continent with Pau Gasol, who will (with little brother Marc) begin training this week with his former Spanish club, FC Barcelona. The Gasols will practice there until the lockout ends (as Pau says, he's "waiting for the evolution" of labor talks) and should the season get scrapped entirely, Pau has indicated signing with Barcelona would be a welcome option.
It would be tough to find a better spot to stay in shape. Barcelona is a perennial powerhouse in European basketball. As Pau explained via Twitter, "For me @FCBarcelona is the best team in Europe. @MarcGasol and I are here to contribute even more to a group which is already excellent."
Having just finished helping Spain to a Eurobasket title, his fitness level should be pretty high already, and the hope, obviously, is Gasol is only there long enough to shake some hands, reintroduce himself to old friends, and get a few days of run in. But if this thing drags on -- and today's cancellation of the preseason, leaving real games seriously threatened, certainly indicates it will-- Pau's contingency plan should keep him sharp.