Virtus Bologna Rumors

Simone Fontecchio isn’t the only talent from Virtus Bologna who’s thinking about playing overseas, also Danilo Andusic is considering to play in the United States. Andusic, born in 1991, is a very talented talented serbian shooting guard and during last weeks he’s proving he can be an important player in the Italian League. The player’s agency revealed that an NBA Franchise is interested to obtain the rights on Andusic.
Claudio Sabatini, CEO of Virtus Bologna, talked today on Kobe Bryant. Sabatini tried to sign The Black Mamba during the NBA lockout. “A marketing operation? No, a real negotiation. We have tripled his salary from the first offer while the game he would have played dicreased the 80%. Lockout would have helped us, Kobe was sincere to say that we were close to a deal” said Sabatini to
Petteri Koponen: What will I do if Virtus Bologna is going to offer me a new contract? It is too early to talk about my future. At the end of the season my contract will expire and I want to see if any Euroleague team will make me a proposal. I want to talk with Dallas Mavericks as well because they own my NBA rights. If Virtus Bologna reaches Euroleague, it would be a huge opportunity for me to sit with the management and discuss a new deal. Siena and Milano? I was close to joining them in more than one occasion, but it didn’t happen. I am happy to be here, I love Bologna but now I am ready for the next challenge. I am 24 and I want to play at the highest levels. For sure I don’t want to sign for a great team risking to be a bench player for the entire season and I don’t want to score 30 points at night for a weak team” said Koponen.
The Corriere goes on to cite inside sources as explaining that Sabbatini & Co. could not compromise with Bryant’s representative Rob Pelinka on the nature of the games Kobe would have played. Sabbatini’s plan was mostly planned as being “a kind of occasional collaboration” because the club was having serious problems with the league’s standard labor contract and therein that old bugaboo, taxes.
“To stay with Virtus? Why not? My goal is to play in Euroleague because I think for me it is important to play at the highest European level. And if I can play in Euroleague with Virtus Bologna, anyone would be happier than me. I don’t know what is going to happen from now to June. NBA or Euroleague? It is not clear to me as well. If Virtus Bologna plays in Euroleague, I know I would have an important role in the team. Dallas Mavericks? I spoke with them a couple of time, they told me to finish the season with Virtus” said Koponen, via BolognaBasket.
In an interview with Corriere dello Sport, Claudio Sabatini talked again about Kobe Bryant said that the agreement was reached and Kobe should have played today his only game in Italy. “We had the agreement, there was just a little detail left. He was supposed to arrive yesterday, play today and leave tomorrow. Three days, one game, but we would sell out Unipol Arena and make €1.5M. Our first offer for Kobe was $800.000 for two months then we offered him around $3M for four days” said Sabatini.
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
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.
As per La Gazzetta dello Sport, the last requests made by Rob Pelinka to Virtus Bologna to have the chance to sign Kobe Bryant for some exhibition games are too high for Claudio Sabatini who decided to give up on the negotiations. The owner of Virtus Bologna should call a press conference soon to explain all the steps of the talks and the reason why the arrival of Kobe in Italy failed.
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.
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.”