Bryant to Italy a potential game-changer?

542712.jpg

Bryant to Italy a potential game-changer?

Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011
Posted: 4:05 p.m.

By AggreySam
CSNChicago.com BullsInsider Follow@CSNBullsInsider
Early in the summer, an anticipated exodus of NBA talent overseas was all the rage. However, while numerous players have inked professional contracts to play on foreign soil during the NBA lockout -- some, such as the Nuggets' free-agent trio of Kenyon Martin, J.R. Smith and Wilson Chandler, without "out clauses" enabling them to return if and when the work stoppage ends -- outside of Nets All-Star point guard Deron Williams, no true superstar has firmly committed to cross the waters.

That could be changing. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who has had flirtations with Williams' Turkish club Besiktas, was recently offered a one-year contract for 6.7 million to play for Italian league team Virtus Bologna, according to reports. Bryant spent much of his childhood in Italy while his father, former NBA player and current WNBA coach Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, was wrapping up his professional career.

No offense to Williams, one of the top floor generals in the game, but if a star of Bryant's magnitude -- a multiple champion, Hall of Famer and one of the best players of his generation, with international ties, to boot -- were to play overseas, NBA fans would pay attention. Additionally, it would demonstrate to the league's ownership that playing outside of the NBA during the lockout is indeed a viable option and could provide the union, of which Bryant has reportedly been a strong supporter (longtime Lakers backcourt mate Derek Fisher is the NBPA president), with some leverage in future negotiations.

What do you think about Bryant potentially going overseas? Will it have any impact on the current bargaining impasse down the road? Will you keep up with Bryant and other NBA players while they're overseas?

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.com's Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

Bulls Road Ahead: Trying to get back to .500 yet again

Bulls Road Ahead: Trying to get back to .500 yet again

Mark Schanowski and Mark Strotman break down what the Bulls need to do to get back on track on this edition of the Bulls Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland and NW Indiana Honda dealers.

A stellar win over the Grizzlies on Sunday has all but been forgotten, as the Bulls lost to the Mavericks on Tuesday. Now back under .500 for the fourth time this season, the Bulls will have to regroup as they prepare for a back-to-back against the Hawks and Kings.

See what else they had to say in this week's Bulls Road Ahead.

Bulls Talk Podcast: What went wrong for the Bulls against the Mavericks?

Bulls Talk Podcast: What went wrong for the Bulls against the Mavericks?

In the latest edition of the Bulls Talk Podcast, Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill and Justin O'Neil assess what went wrong for the Bulls in their Tuesday-night loss to the Mavericks and wonder why the Bulls struggle against good teams but win against the league's top teams.

Also, the guys discuss whether the Bulls are over reliant on isolation plays for Jimmy Butler and Dwayne Wade in the fourth quarter. And, Robin Lopez says he might start taking 3-pointers. What does Kendall think about the new era of the stretch five?

Plus, Kendall shares which NBA city was the biggest road party scene, and the guys discuss the possible comeback of Ben Gordon.