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Saturday , Aug , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kobe Bryant done with Besiktas?

According to Obrad Fimic of Alti Sport who was negotiating with Besiktas on behalf of Kobe Bryant and his agent Rob Pelinka, the proposal of the Turkish team for the Lakers star is still too low. Kobe and his entourage decided not to accept it and give up on the negotiations with Besiktas, team who already signed Deron Williams.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: No surprise here.

Kobe Bryant and Besiktas’ public flirtations were convenient and useful, however, neither had legitimate interest in joining forces during the NBA lockout.

The situation was like a tabloid headline that caught your eye while waiting to buy groceries. You saw it. You were entertained by it. You (hopefully) didn’t believe it, though.

If Bryant heads abroad, he’ll do China, not Turkey. China will pay him an unlimited amount, treat him like a vacationing guest, and provide endless branding opportunities.

Besiktas are cash-strapped, play in a mediocre league, and Turkey can’t compete with the world’s strongest economy. Their soccer team was involved in a match-fixing scandal, too.

However, the speculation was useful for player and team. Bryant kept his name in the headlines and made NBA owners think he had a plethora of overseas options.

Besiktas couldn’t buy this publicity -even if they tried. They’ve been associated and linked to Bryant, a once-in-a-generation talent with international appeal.

Bottom line: it didn`t matter if Bryant signed with Besiktas. Both sides got what they wanted from the situation.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Aug , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Would Durant to Besiktas change Clay Bennett’s hardline on lockout?

Agent Aaron Goodwin told on Tuesday night that he has met with officials from Turkish club Besiktas and has likewise begun exploring opportunities for Durant in Spain and Russia.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Slide over George Costanza. This is ‘The Summer of Kevin’.

Clearly, Kevin Durant is making the most of his time away from his day-gig with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

A typical summer would see Durant train under the eye of OKC officials. This, however, has not been a typical summer because NBA players are locked-out.

The scoring champ’ has been free to live a Costanza inspired life of pick-up runs and you tube clips (all that’s missing is taking a bite of a hunk of cheese.)

The good press has made Durant the star of the lockout, which contributed to Besiktas floating him an offer to suit up for the Turkish club.

Here’s the question: how does Clay Bennett - the shrewd businessman and owner of the Thunder - feel about Durant heading abroad and generating revenue for another owner?

Bennett is one of the hardline owners who will sit the entire season to attain a hard cap and 50-50 split of Basketball Related Income.

Durant assuming wear-and-tear and risking injury in a second-rate league in Europe may frustrate Bennett enough to change his perspective. 

It’s one thing if his prize asset, Durant, is state-side. It’s another if he’s generating millions of dollars for another league.

Hopefully, Durant joining a foreign club pushes Bennett off his stance. Then ‘The Summer of Kevin’ would have been a success.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Aug , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Does it matter if Kobe signs with Besiktas?

As confirmed exclusively to Sportando, the first meeting between Rob Pelinka, agent of Kobe Bryant and Besiktas was an acquainting one. Both sides presented their view's of the situation. Besiktas also made a first official proposal to Kobe Bryan but the offer, at the moment, is not at the level that Kobe and his agents will accept. In the next days, by the end of the week, there should be a second meeting where Besiktas will raise the proposal for the Lakers' star trying to convince him to land in Turkey and play along with Deron Williams. Kobe did not attend the meeting.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
Kobe Bryant and Besiktas are getting what they want and need from these not-so subtle negotiations.

Bryant’s name stays front and center. The headlines help his brand, and allow him to charge mid-six figures for a night’s work abroad.

It also puts some pressure on the owners with respect to negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The Buss clan, who own the big market Los Angeles Lakers, can’t be happy their veteran superstar is contemplating playing abroad in a second rate league with poor facilities and medical professionals.

Speaking of Besiktas, they couldn’t buy this publicity. The Turkish club is linked to arguably the game’s greatest player and a once-in-a-generation talent.

The mere chance Bryant would consider crossing the Atlantic and toiling for Besiktas helps soften the match-fixing scandal that plagued their soccer operations.

Bryant, like the signing of superstar point guard Deron Williams, gives an impression of legitimacy.

At this point, does it matter if Bryant and Besiktas' flirting becomes official with a formal contract?

--Oly Sandor.

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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.


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.


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.

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Monday , Jul , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kobe bluffing on Turkey?

Kobe Bryant is not going to play in Turkey. No way. He can’t be that dumb, can’t be willing to risk that much. It keeps making news, but it sounds like a bluff, or at the very least a PR move. And maybe that’s the big question here: Is Bryant bluffing or is he just that dumb?


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Is it all talk?  

Some feel Kobe Bryant has no intention of packing up, heading across the Atlantic Ocean, and spending the entire season in a second-rate European league.

A former prep-to-pro star, Bryant is now 33-years old.  There’s a belief with all the wear-and-tear on his body that Bryant should rest for the latter half of his career.

Bryant isn’t stupid. He knows Anaheim Ducks star Teemu Selanne got invaluable R&R during the 2004 NHL work stoppage and resurrected his Hall of Fame career.

Instead of a jaunt to Turkey, he’ll likely stay state-side. The rumors have a purpose, though.

As mentioned,  Bryant gets his name in the headlines, his brand is linked to Europe and Asia, and NBA owners are well aware of the options available to a superstar.

So expect Bryant’s cat-and-mouse game with Turkey to continue. Only it won’t amount to much, if anything.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Jul , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: does Besiktas care if Kobe signs?

Turkish club Besiktas is in talks with Kobe Bryant's representatives about the possibility of the Los Angeles Lakers' star playing in Turkey during the NBA lockout. "It is a fact that Kobe Bryant's managers have contacted us," coach Ergin Ataman said Thursday, a week after Besiktas signed New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Talk is cheap –except if your union needs leverage for the lockout or you’re a second-rate European squad looking to improve your image.
Then, talk is good –real good.
Sure, Turkish club Besiktas and superstar Kobe Bryant are talking about a contract for 2011-12 in case the NBA lockout isn`t resolved.
Why would Bryant, the game’s greatest star, uproot his family, risk his career, and put up with second-class treatment from a second-rate pro’ team?
Besiktas has more issues than a celeb` on Dr. Phil’s Celebrity Rehab. Their soccer squad is in a match-fixing scandal; reports indicate their finances are frozen; a corporate sponsor had to guarantee Deron Williams $5 million pact.
Well, Bryant is doing his union brothers a solid by playing overseas and showing the owners the players have options. If something comes of his flirting with Besiktas, so be it. If not, he keeps touring Asia while negotiations on the new CBA continue.

For Besiktas, this is about headlines. They already shocked the basketball world with the signing of Williams, arguably the best point guard in the NBA.
Now those same pundits are wondering if ‘The King’ (sorry LeBron) will really cross the Atlantic and ply his trade on the crossroads of Europe and Asia for the princely sum of $1,000 000 per month.

Besiktas can’t buy this publicity. Blogs, print writers, radio hosts, and TV analysts are linking them to Bryant. They`re the buzz of basketball.
So Besiktas doesn`t care if Bryant signs. They`ve already won.
--Oly Sandor.
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Saturday , Jul , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Deron Williams walks-the-walk, officially signs with Turkish club

Williams tweeted the signature on his one-year contract with Besiktas late Friday night from his verified Twitter account. "Just made it official, headed to Turkey ...signed with Besiktas & @BJK_Basketbol," he wrote.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Deron Williams talks-the-talk and walks-the-walk.

Two weeks ago, Williams announced he was 'taking his talent' to Turkey because of the NBA lockout. Today, Williams made it official, signing a one-year, $5 million contract with Besiktas, which includes an escape clause if the lockout is resolved.

There’s no being ‘open to’ or considering. Williams, a man of his word, is gone. But keeping his word is risky.

Suppose Williams gets injured in Turkey. The New Jersey Nets, Williams’ NBA team, could void the remaining two-years and $34 million on his contract.

Williams has to consider the long-term. Next July, he can opt-out of his contract, hit the free agent market, and sign a multi-year deal for the maximum amount available.

Of course, an injury would change everything. Teams would think twice about tendering Williams an offer, especially since the new salary cap will be less forgiving of 'bad contracts'.

Williams deserves credit for taking the initiative to play basketball. Right now, few NBA superstars can say that.

--Oly Sandor.

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