ROME (AP) — The Italian basketball team Virtus Bologna says its top offer to Kobe Bryant is a one-year contract worth $5 million.
With NBA players locked out, Virtus is hoping the Los Angeles Lakers star agrees to a deal before he arrives in Italy this week for a tour.
A person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press on Monday that an unidentified company is prepared to provide cash for the deal. The company is different from Bologna’s main sponsor, Canadian Solar. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because negotiations are ongoing.
Bryant spent part of his youth in Italy while his father played in the country. He speaks Italian, prompting Bologna to hope he might return for sentimental reasons.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.