Friday, September 30th, 2011 at 9:00 am  |  22 responses

Italian Team Claims to Have ‘Economic’ Agreement With Kobe Bryant

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

When Kobe Bryant recently said that playing in Italy would be a “dream” for him, that’s what everyone considered the courtship between the Laker superstar and the Virtus Bologna club —  a dream.

According to Virtus’ management team, however, things are very serious between the two, and a deal for Bryant to play in Italy starting next month is just about done. The Italians claim that they have reached a verbal (“economic”) agreement with Kobe, which includes an opt-out clause once the NBA lockout ends.

The AP reports:

“We have reached an economic deal,” Virtus president Claudio Sabatini told a local radio station. “There’s still some things to arrange but at this point I’m very optimistic. I would say it’s 95 percent done.” A person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press on Friday that the sides have settled on a $3 million contract for the opening 40 days of the Italian league season. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has still not been signed.

Bryant is expected to get a work visa and return to Italy next week. “Kobe should be in Bologna by Wednesday or Thursday with his visa in hand for medical visits and then we can deposit the contract with the league,” Sabatini said. “I want to make clear that right now there are still no signatures. We’ve got to write the contract, which will then be read over and over again.”

Amazingly, even though there’s plenty of doubt about Kobe actually signing on with Virtus Bologna, Bryant already has serious haters in Italian hoops.

Check out these quotes from an American baller who plays for a rival team: “Former USC guard Daniel Hackett, a dual citizen who plays for Pesaro in Italy, said he would give Bryant a hostile reception if he faced the former NBA MVP. ‘The only way to stop a player that good is with a hard foul and he knows that,’ Hackett said. ‘I’ve got five fouls to commit and they’re going to be the hardest five fouls I’ve ever committed.’ Hackett also criticized speculation that Bologna will ask opposing clubs hosting Bryant’s away games to chip in a portion of ticket sales to help pay Bryant’s salary. ‘I really hope Kobe doesn’t lower himself to this level for economic and commercial motives,’ Hackett said, according to the Gazzetta. ‘To me, it would be a big disappointment to see him here under these circumstances, and a loss of respect for a player who is too big to dirty his hands in this league.’”

Kobe Bryant’s Italian adventure — should it happen — is going to be simply awesome.

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  • jake

    Sounds likemister hackett needs to mee
    t the fists of ron artest. Package deal!

  • rob stewart

    Please sign this deal Kobe!!!

  • T-Money

    if you scared, say you scared.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Daniel Hackett was a BUM at USC. GTFOH, dude.

  • http://thahiphopcorner.com Kevin

    Never even heard of this Hackett dude. Stop hating fam

  • bull22

    hackett is right, why would kobe waste his time in this league other then for a game fix… but then again he already got his, rings and money and he has only few goood years in his career..


    Daniel who???…Anyway, sign the deal Kobe!!!

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Hackett sounds like he’s got a massive mancrash on Kobe.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ


  • http://www.acb.com A l a n

    Kobe lived in Italy even before this Hackett (of whom I’ve never heard before) was born smh

  • robb

    “The only way to stop a player that good is with a hard foul and he knows that” Yeah, and he won’t back down and will destroy you, so good luck Mr. nobody.

  • NJ4Life

    Final Boxscore:

    Kobe Bryant: 42 pts, 6 reb, 6 asts, 3blk, 2 stl 1 personal foul

    Daniel Hackett: 0 pts, 0 reb, 0 ast, 0 blk, 0 stl, 5 personal fouls

  • RaZkOL

    It’s not just hackett thats gonna knock kobe on his @$$. There gonna be a few more. He seriously needs to be careful with these cats. They don’t care and the ref’s ain’t always gonna save him.

  • bike

    Hackerare l’americano! Hackerare l’americano! Hackerare l’americano! Hackerare l’americano!

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Why should KB have to be careful? You act like he’s playing a night time street game in Rucker. No ones hurting Kobe. I repeat, no ones hurting Kobe. You think Doug Christie, Chris(who?)Childs, Raja Bell, Bruce Bowen are anyless of a tough defender than…(hold on looking up name)…. Danny boy Hackett? Get real. Kob’s gun’ kill em. Guess that’s all you could do if Kobe is lighting your a$$ up.

  • ThrillaInManilla

    Co-Sign LAKESHOW…… Hackett speaks the language of a true coward. Kobe’s been in battles with Ron Artest as well as those guys LakeShow named. Kobe is one of the more physical guards in the League. Daniel Hackett’s family was named after a bunch of nobody’s in sports that couldn’t Hack it.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com albie1kenobi

    i don’t think anyone is denying kobe will lit everyone up. that’s just common sense. but heckett isn’t saying he’s gonna play the best defense on him to shut him down. he literally said he’s gonna commit extremely hard fouls on him. it has nothing to do with basketball skills or talents.
    no one in the NBA would hurt Kobe, because the NBA won’t allow that to happen. Kobe is the cash cow. but in a foreign league?
    let’s put it this way: if you bought a lamborghini, would you take great care of it? yes of course you would. but if you are only renting it for cheap and you KNOW you are not liable for it, you would probably floor it to 200+ mph and don’t give a crap if you wreck it.
    if you are a laker fan, you’d PRAY for him not to go. i’m no fan of kobe, but as an NBA fan, this is not good news.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlD1Uhs0mTQ what

    Hackett’s comments sound more like he’s hating on Italy than like he’s hating on Kobe.

  • Live

    @NJ4Life – no ways kobe getting 6 assists in Italy lol

  • jerico

    kobe will have five and1′s..

  • Marco

    Hackett is a fkng @sshole.
    “‘To me, it would be a big disappointment to see him here under these circumstances, and a loss of respect for a player who is too big to dirty his hands in this league.’”
    Dirty is hands in this league?
    Really a classy and patriotic move, daniel

  • ktokyo

    Why does Kobe need a working Visa? Wasn’t he born in Italy??