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.
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.
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