Kobe Bryant Could Play In Turkey If NBA Lockout Remains
21. July 2011
One of the top superstars of the National Basketball Association could soon play in Turkey if the lockout in the premier professional basketball league in the planet will not be resolved soon.
According to reports, representatives of Los Angeles Lakers superstar guard Kobe “Black Mamba” Bryant are now in constant talk with the Turkish basketball team Besiktas for the possibility that Bryant can play with the team once the Turkish basketball league opens in October. Besiktas coach Ergin Ataman said Bryant is just waiting a formal offer from them before the NBA superstar decides to accept the offer or remain with the NBA.
Ataman said at the moment, they could not give Bryant any offer since they still need a sponsor to shoulder his huge salary. Bryant, who has won five NBA titles with the Lakers and is a 13-time NBA All Star, has been on a tour of China, including a stop in Shanghai on Wednesday.
He said he would consider playing overseas during the lockout and mentioned China and Turkey as possibilities.Bryant is eyeing to play with Besiktas if the lockout remains since the team has earlier signed New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams, a teammate of the NBA superstar in the United States basketball team that won the gold medal in the last Olympic tournament in China.
NBA experts said if the NBA lockout remains, many NBA players are expected to play overseas and one of their primary destination is Turkey and China. Before his colorful NBA career, Bryant enjoyed a successful high school basketball career at Lower Merion High School, where he was recognized as the top high school basketball player in the country.
He decided to declare his eligibility for the NBA Draft upon graduation, and was selected with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets, then traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. As a rookie, Bryant earned himself a reputation as a high-flyer and a fan favorite by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest.