At this point, everyone knows that Kobe Bryant’s Hall of Fame NBA career will soon be ending. There was a time, however, that many were speculating that Kobe could choose to play overseas where he is a huge star and could make a lot of money.
Kobe also grew up in Italy and is accustomed to the culture there which would make the transition easier if he were to do so. Kobe has shot down those rumors, but the opportunity was there if he wanted to.
European powerhouse FC Barcelona reportedly made an offer last summer for Kobe to play in the team’s Euroleague games, but he declined the offer via Pro Basketball Talk citing Hoopshype:
The offer, made last summer, was for Kobe to play only in Barcelona’s Euroleague games, which is the equivalent of the Champions League in soccer where the top teams from each country’s club leagues face off against each other. It’s the biggest basketball stage in Europe, where Kobe would have played in major markets against name teams. But he turned them down saying he was not physically up for it.
Kobe has made it very clear that he will not be playing basketball beyond this NBA season and considering what he has had to endure this season, it is completely understandable why he wouldn’t want to play over there.
It would have surely been interesting to see Kobe overseas as many NBA players have enjoyed productive years in Europe, but the only jersey Kobe will wear in his basketball career is the purple and gold which is exactly how it should be.