Kobe Bryant to play in Italy during NBA lockout?

kobe-bryant-getty-500.jpg

After playing a quick game of will he/won't he with Turkey, is Kobe Bryant heading to Italy?

The NFL lockout ended just in time for the players to get back on the field, albeit with a shortened training camp. The NBA lockout, however, looks to be a much longer affair. The owners and the players are nowhere near an agreement as key factors (e.g. a hard salary cap) are preventing both sides from approaching compromise.

The international exodus began when Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets surprised the sports community by signing with Besiktas, a Turkish basketball club. For those who didn't believe it would happen, Williams has been officially playing ball for the Turks since mid-September. Now, basketball's biggest star, Los Angeles Laker's Kobe Bryant, is toying with a move overseas.

Italian team Virtus Bologna has been courting the Lakers star since news of the lockout first broke. Italy has special appeal to Bryant, as he spent part of his childhood there. 

"It's very possible. It would be a dream for me...It's very possible and that's good news for me...I don't know what's going to happen over the next three or four weeks, but Italy has always been in my heart..."

According to the AP, the offer is $2.5 million for 10 games over 40 days. Bryant would be allowed to return to the Lakers should the lockout end, but many NBA experts anticipate that if both sides continue to hold out for their demands, the season could be in jeopardy.

Photo/Video credit: Getty Images