In a meeting with reporters today, Claudio Sabatini, the president of Virtus Bologna expressed his continue optimism that Kobe Bryant will play for his team if the NBA lockout occurs. The deal, claimed to be "95% done" by Sabatini, will pay Bryant over $3 million for 35 to 40 days with Virtus Bologna, an average of 10 games. And if NBA season resumes, Bryant will be able to return to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. However, many doubt Bryant, who grew up in Italy and speaks Italian fluently, will take the deal since other Italian teams are pursuing deals of their own as well. Besides, injuries sustained during his stint abroad will void his contract extension with the Lakers, valued at $90 million dollars for 3-years.
This comes on the day when Dwayne Wade and other players nearly walked out of talks between NBA team owners and athletes. At the center of this current dispute is, similar to other disputes in the past, refers to players' salary cap and revenue sharing. With NBA season to start on November 1st, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced he will cancel the entire season if both sides can not come to an agreement this weekend. A moment of do-or-die for the 2011 NBA Season.