Kobe Bryant has received a contract offer from Italian pro team Virtus Bologna for a contract worth $6 million. The Lakers NBA star is currently weighing his options and is scheduled to be in Italy next week. He will be making appearances in Rome and Milan to promote Nike.
Bryant, 33, is under contract with the Lakers for three more years and $83.5 million. He has received several options from the Italian team, according to its general manager, including a shorter per-game deal that would work out to about $740,000 a game. All options are non-binding, allowing him to return to the NBA if the lockout ends.
“I think the fact that he’s lived in Italy makes this appealing to him,” Virtus Bologna executive Massimo Faraoni told reporters. The Lakers star’s father, Joe, played professionally in Italy. What’s more interesting is the fact that can speak Italian.
Bryant led the league in scoring during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. In 2006, he scored a career-high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second-highest number of points scored in a game in the league’s history, behind only Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point performance.
The pro basketball player was awarded the regular season’s Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) in the 2007-08 season and led his team to the 2008 NBA Finals as the first seed in the Western Conference. In the 2008 Summer Olympics, Bryant won a gold medal as a member of the U.S. men’s basketball league, occasionally referred to as “The Redeem Team.”
Bryant led the Lakers to two more championships in 2009 and 2010, winning the Finals MVP award on both occasions. Bryant has been selected to 13 All-NBA teams. It’s a big decision, but one we should know in the coming weeks.