With the NBA Lockout still going on and a deal getting done before the season unlikely, Los Angeles Lakers' star Kobe Bryant could very well be heading off to Italy to play for the Bologna-company owned basketball club, Virtus Bologna.

The reported deal is for Kobe to play ten games and stay with the team for 40 days along with being paid a guaranteed $3 million. A deal hasn't been done yet, but the Associated Press has reported that both sides are working "intensely" towards making a completed deal.

"Virtus Pallacanestro Bologna and the management of Mr. Bryant are working very intensely to try and create this important deal," the two parties said in a joint statement Monday. "Reaching such a complex deal requires both sides' maximum attention for every little detail.

"Everyone wants a positive outcome to the deal, the goal of which is Kobe Bryant's presence in Italy, economic interests for the 17 clubs in Serie A and more attention for all of Italian basketball."

However, Bologna has to do an important thing, according to AP:
The deal, however, hinges on other clubs changing their schedules to ensure Bologna has five home games during Bryant's 10-game contract. Bologna also wants its opening five away games played in Italy's biggest arenas, and wants to avoid an early-season bye.
"I hope that very shortly we'll have a deal," Bologna president, Claudio Sabatini, told the ANSA news agency. "I want to thank Kobe, who demonstrated again overnight that he wants to return to Italy."

It's going to be interesting to see what happens. I think the deal will happen, and I hope it does. It's been a while since I've seen the Black Mamba play.


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