Italian basketball club Virtus Bologna has made an offer to Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant to come join its team in Italy. Due to television and scheduling problems, owner of Virtus Bologna Claudio Sabatini, has offered Bryant between $1 and $2 million to play in one exhibition game. The “Tribute to Kobe” will take place in October, according to media reports in Italy.
Both parties are expected to be in communication on Thursday said a team spokesman. “”Negotiations with Mr. Kobe Bryant have been very difficult,” said Vicenzo Di Schiavia, the team’s communications manager. “We will not make any comment for now.”
At first Virtus Bologna tried to sign Bryant for ten games, but problems rose and they could not bring the five-time NBA champion to Italy for their desired time. Sabatini has already arranged sponsorship and plans to make revenue off of giving TV rights to American stations.
“I had to make this decision because it was the only way to be able to show ‘The Tribute to Kobe’ to the whole world,” Sabatini said according to il Resto del Carlino. “If we had done a league game, we would have had problems trying to show it also in Italy.”
Two exhibition game dates have been rumored for either Oct. 19 or Oct. 26, but an opponent has not been announced yet.