<
>

Italian team chasing Kobe Bryant

10/18/2011 - NBA Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers + more

BOLOGNA, Italy -- The Italian club Virtus Bologna says "unexpected engagements" have made it impossible to sign Kobe Bryant this month, but both sides will keep working toward a deal in November.

Bologna President Claudio Sabatini told The Associated Press this month he had reached a tentative deal with Bryant's agent or a 10-game contract worth more than $3 million.

Any extended deal with Bryant would allow the Los Angeles Lakers star to return to the NBA once the lockout ends.

Multiple media reports in Italy last week said that Virtus Bologna had run into scheduling and television rights hurdles trying to get Bryant for 10 games, however, and it had revised its plan to have him play one "Tribute to Kobe" game in mid-October.

A statement on Bologna's website says "the sides will continue to work toward arranging Kobe Bryant's arrival in Italy for mid-November."

Bryant spent part of his childhood in Italy and has said it would be a "dream" to play in the country.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.