barcelona-barca
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Monday , Aug , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kobe on Barcelona: ‘I’d definitely come there and play’

A reporter asked him in Spanish if he would consider playing in Barcelona, to be oh-so-close to the soccer team he adores. Bryant, who speaks Italian and some Spanish, did not even wait for the question to be translated into English before answering. “I’d definitely come there and play, for sure,” he said, before smiling coyly.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This sabbatical sounds more like Kobe Bryant.

Yesterday the Los Angeles Lakers star confirmed he has interest in playing overseas if the lockout continues -but he’d prefer the basketball arm of Barcelona to Besiktas.

Bryant, after all, grew up in nearby Italy supporting the Barca and idolizes international football sensation Lionel Messi.

Bottom line: he has an emotional connection to Barcelona. The Black Mamba even travelled to DC for Saturday`s European Champions League rematch with Manchester United.

There are no such ties with Turkish club Besiktas, who don`t play in the top European League and have irked Bryant by making preliminary negotiations seem serious.

Of course, there’s no guarantee Bryant plays for any team in 2012. If the lockout lingers, he could instead headline an exhibition tour, rest his body, and promote his brand.

 Bryant may cross the Atlantic Ocean for iconic Barcelona, but not Besiktas.

--Oly Sandor.


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Friday , Jul , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bryant to meet Besiktas officials on Saturday?

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will be in the nation's capital attending the World Football Challenge featuring Manchester United and F.C. Barcelona at FedEx Field on Saturday and the Mia Hamm Celebrity Soccer Challenge on Sunday at Kastles Stadium.

Soccer won't be the only sport on Bryant's agenda, however, as the 15-year NBA veteran and his representatives will meet with officials from the Turkish basketball club Besiktas on Saturday, according to a Reuters report.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Will Kobe Bryant play in Turkey? Or, will he stay in America?

Each day the lockout lingers the greater the chance Bryant keeps in shape by signing with Besiktas, the Turkish team Deron Williams will play for. 

Here’s what we know: Bryant will meet officials from Besiktas this weekend in Washington. He's in town for the Manchester United-Barcelona game, and will stick around for Mia Hamm's charity match.

Money is the issue. Bryant wants $1 million per month to suit up on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, while Besiktas has offered half that amount with perks.

Bottom line: Besiktas has to sweeten the pot for Bryant to uproot his family, deal with second-rate facilities, and risk injury.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe in the comment box below.