HoopsHype Virtus Bologna rumors

November 4, 2011 Updates
October 21, 2011 Updates

Claudio Sabatini still hopes to bring Kobe Bryant to Italy for a three-games exhibition tour. "Kobe would be a marketing operation. The negotiation with Kobe? Pelinka did not tell me about the worldwide exhibition tour he was organizing. But he did not lie to me. By the way, we are ready from November 13th to playe three exhibition games. If they accept, we need three days to organize the events" said Claudio Sabatini to Bolognabasket.it. Sportando

October 18, 2011 Updates

Kobe Bryant's saga is still on in Bologna. After the news that Claudio Sabatini gave up on the negotiations with the Lakers star, Virtus Bologna released on the official website a news. After the contact with Rob Pelinka, Virtus Bologna takes note of the inability of the player, due to unforeseen commitments, to accept the proposals for three games on Oct. 27th, 31st and Nov.1st. Virtus informs that the negotiations are still on. The two parts are working on a deal who will try to define the arrival of Kobe Bryant in Italy in the middle of November. Sportando

October 17, 2011 Updates

As per La Gazzetta dello Sport, Claudio Sabatini and Rob Pelinka are still working silently to bring Kobe Bryant to Italy during the NBA lockout. The last idea is to organize three exhibition tournaments in Bologna, Roma and Milano with three teams for any stage. All the games would last 24 minutes with two quarters by 12'. Sabatini wants to involve also a foreign team because his idea is to sell the tv rights also abroad. The winner of the mini-tournament wil lift the prestigious Kobe Cup. Sportando

October 13, 2011 Updates

Manu Ginobili: "When the Pre Olympic was over I was excited [about playing in Italy]. I wanted to. But soon after I thought about it more: I have a family, and to do such a thing and then have to come back [to the NBA] when the lockout is over... It's not what I like to do. I don't rule it out. We don't know when it's going to end. As I've always said, Bologna is a place where I have great memories and I would like to go back there." Basquet Plus

Yesterday the President of the United States, whose love of basketball is common knowledge, in very institutional and public statement had expressed a hope for the settlement of the NBA lockout. To Sabatini and his staff this was interpreted as rocking the boat in the deals that European clubs are trying to push through with various players who are currently under contract to NBA teams, Kobe naturally being one of them. "To avoid any misunderstandings," continued Sabatini, "I have written to the White House that it is not my intention to cast a shadow on the NBA by stealing their most important player. It is just that I would like to give Bologna and all of Italian basketball the opportunity to enjoy the talent of this world-famous superstar." Gazzetta dello Sport

Claudio Sabatini said via La Gazzetta dello Sport that the conference call with Kobe Bryant's management scheduled for last night failed. The owner of Virtus Bologna also added that he wrote a letter to the White House and US President Barack Obama, who hoped yesterday that the NBA lockout would end soon. 'I wanted to make clear to the White House that I don't want to steal the best NBA player putting the league into the shadows. My intention is to give the opportunity to the city of Bologna and to the Italian basketball movement to have Kobe for few days' said Sabatini. Sportando

October 12, 2011 Updates

Kobe Bryant, as reported by Il Resto del Carlino, is close to accepting the single game proposal made by Claudio Sabatini, owner of Virtus Bologna. The two parts are negotiating intensively in the last hour and a solution for the saga seems close to end. Kobe Bryant would land in Italy for four days and play one game in the 'Kobe Night'. According to Sabatini there are already sponsors and networks ready to cover the event. Sabatini offered to Bryant $2M for the single game. Sportando

October 11, 2011 Updates
October 9, 2011 Updates
October 7, 2011 Updates

The last idea of Claudio Sabatini is to have Kobe Bryant for a single, exhibition game, as reported by Bolognabasket.it. The game would be played next Wednesday against Benetton Treviso who already accepted the proposal. Playing a friendly, Sabatini won't have problems to get the letter of clearance, to deposit Kobe's contract to Legabasket on time for the game. If Kobe agrees, Sabatini has just few days to sell the tickets, organize the event and the merchandising related to Kobe. It is not clear if the offer for the player, in case of single game, is still $2M. Sportando

Claudio Sabatini, in an interview released at La Gazzetta dello Sport, talked again on Kobe Bryant and about the idea of an exhibition game with Lakers' star. "One exhibiiton game with Kobe Bryant in Italy would involve millions of supporters. Unfortunately Legabasket did not receive the request of Italian clubs to sell the tv rights abroad. With Lefebre, vice-president of Benetton Treviso, we came up with the idea of an exhibition game which free us from the contract we signed with Rai and La7. In few hours, three international network told us to be ready to broadcast the game. Sportando

October 6, 2011 Updates

Claudio Sabatini, owner of Virtus Bologna, confirmed at Radiofuturoshow Station that he had another conference call with Kobe's agent and that it is real the hypotesis 'one game' for Bryant. 'Last night we had another conference call with Bryant's agent. Now we just have to wait the contract. We accepted his financial request and we submitted him two different proposals, for one game or for 40 days. Now the decision is up to him. We thought about the one game option to speed up the negotiations. He could land on Sunday, play the game against Benetton Treviso next Wednesday and maybe stay longer with us." Sportando

October 5, 2011 Updates

As reported by ANSA, Claudio Sabatini talked again on Kobe Bryant who just said yesterday that the deal to play in Italy is 'up in the air'. "We exchanged some papers with Kobe's management. We are working hard to have him with us from the beginning of the coming week. I really think that by the end of the day we can have a final answer. I hope to see him with Virtus Bologna's jersey next Wednesday against Benetton Treviso". According to rumors, Kobe Bryant is available to stay in Italy less than the 40 days outlined. The main option is that he will make his debut with Virtus Bologna next Wednesday against Benetton Treviso in a kind of "Kobe Night". Sportando

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