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The previous contract offer to Kobe Bryant from the Greek team Olympiacos Piraeus Basketball Club, which can be read about here, has been upped. The same types of amazing benefits are still being offered, only now the term is for $30 million per year net for 3 years, or $90 million net for 3 years. Also, because Kobe may not be able to adjust to the Greek cuisine, he would in addition to the previously mentioned benefits also receive his own personal 5 star gourmet chef.

Let’s put this offer into better perspective. Sports fans in the US don’t seem to understand the meaning of such a contract from a big European club like Olympiacos. Unlike an NBA contract, the terms are net (as in after taxes), not gross as they are in the NBA (as in before taxes) and the agent’s fees are also covered by the team, while they are not by NBA clubs.

Since Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss recently put out the figures of 5 years $135 million gross for Kobe’s new Lakers contract, the multi-billionaire owners of Olympiacos, the Angelopoulos brothers, George and Panagiotis now have an idea of what they will need to offer in order get Kobe.

So they have upped the considerations by $10 million net per season. Believing that in addition to all the incredible benefits they would be offering Kobe, as has already been mentioned in the previous story, including opt out clauses after each of the contract’s first two years, that in addition to this they would need to roughly triple the Lakers’ offer in terms of money earned per season.

They have now done just that. Between the deductions for agent fees, California state taxes, and the new US national tax rate under US President-elect Barack Obama, Kobe would only earn about 38% per season from his new Lakers contract at the amount of 5 years $135 million mentioned by Buss, compared to what the Olympiacos contract would pay him. Think about that for a second. Even at $135 million for 5 years, that would be just 38% of the amount being offered by Olympiacos. To really give you an idea of the huge raise Kobe would get from Olympiacos, in 5 years with the Lakers he would earn only 64% of what he would earn from Olympiacos in just 3 years.

The other big consideration Olympiacos has made is to work out endorsement deals for Bryant in Europe. Many pundits and analysts in the US have stated a big NBA star will never leave for the Euroleague in the prime of their career because of the loss of marketing deals in the US they would suffer if they left for Europe.

However, Olympiacos already has 11 sponsorship deals. Including such big ones as Nike, Powerade, Citibank, and Volvo. Nike of course having an obvious possible Greek marketing connection no less, is very keen to increase their endorsement deal with Olympiacos and to open up Kobe much more to the huge European market. So make no mistake, Kobe would get an even bigger Nike deal if he heads to Athens. Powerade, Citibank, and Volvo are also all said to be interested in giving Bryant big endorsement deals in Europe if he joins Olympiacos. Think of it too that these European deals would not need to affect his deals in the US or other countries, like his Gatorade deal in the US because they would be marketed on another continent.

One of the main reasons for these companies being interested in giving Bryant deals besides that they already partner with the Olympiacos club is because of the fact that Kobe has a much better personal image in Europe than he does in the US, where his endorsements have suffered slightly after his Colorado court trial. In Europe this is not a factor and Nike, Powerade, Citibank, and Volvo all believe Kobe could bring big revenues for them in Europe.

My previous report on this subject was questioned heavily in the US as being an unreliable rumor only. Because of that I decided to not report this new development until after it had also been reported by a respected news source in the US. I decided I would only then report the details of this so as to not have this reliability issue come up again.

Here is the confirmation from a known US source that this is actually true and is moving forward: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-kobepaul111208&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Now, Bryant is chasing a championship with the specter of a contract opt-out this summer. Already, a source close to his camp says that European powers have reached out quietly to his representation and set baselines for a possible free-agent contract. Offers of $30 million a year in Greece and Italy promise to be on the table, and, says one associate, “I guarantee whatever happens that Kobe will take that whole European thing down to the wire before he re-signs with the Lakers.”

Stay tuned for further developments on this story.

Author: Apollo