Kobe Bryant not opposed to Europe

NEW YORK -- Lakers fans living in Los Angeles who want to catch a glimpse of Kobe Bryant playing basketball next season might want to make sure their passports are up to date.

After the Lakers' 113-96 win over the New York Knicks on Friday, Bryant was asked by an international reporter whether he had any plans to play in "Europe, Italy or Milan" should the NBA have a lockout that wipes out the season if owners and players can't come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement.

"I wouldn't be opposed to it," Bryant said.

The question came in response to a New York Daily News story that ran Friday quoting an unnamed Lakers player who said he had conversations with Bryant in which the star guard expressed interest in playing overseas in the event of a work stoppage.

Another reporter asked whether Bryant was "locked in" to playing in Italy or whether he would consider another European city.

"I'm not locked in anywhere. I'm locked out," Bryant retorted. "So, I don't know, you just got to play it by ear. Obviously you all know how much I love Italy. I grew up there."

The league's current CBA expires June 30. Members of the players' association and the league's 30 owners are scheduled to meet during All-Star weekend to continue negotiations on a new deal.

Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.