Turkish club Besiktas is in conversation with Kobe Bryant’s representatives regarding the option of the Los Angeles Lakers’ star playing in Turkey through the NBA lockout. Coach Ergin Ataman said a week after Besiktas marked New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams, “It is a fact that Kobe Bryant’s managers have contacted us.”
Bryant was waiting for an offer from Besiktas, Ataman said. The club, on the other hand, said it would need a sponsor to be able to pay for Bryant’s contract.
Ataman said, “Our board will evaluate that.”
Bryant, who has won five NBA title with the Lakers and is a 13-time NBA All Star, has been on a tour of China, counting a stop in Shanghai on Wednesday. He would consider playing overseas during the lockout and mentioned China and Turkey as possibilities.
Ataman said representatives of other NBA players as well have contacted Besiktas, without identifying some of them.
This coming October will be the Turkish League season.
Besiktas signed Allen Iverson in the previous year but his time in Turkey was cut short because of an injury.
One more NBA player, Sasha Vujacic, New Jersey guard, signed in the previous week with Turkish club Anadolu Efes. The Slovenian guard agreed to a one year agreement with an optional second year.
Nets draft pick Bojan Bogdanovic as well signed with Fenerbahce of the Turkish League in June.
Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic star, who has been a five-time All-Star, said he would consider playing in China or Europe if the NBA lockout does not finish.
Talks between the NBA and the union broke down on June 30, and the owners have chosen to implement the first lockout of league since the 1998-99 season was reduced to 50 games. There are significant differences among their recommendations, increasing the possibility that all or portion of next season can be canceled.