How Kobe Bryant Almost Signed with an Italian Basketball Team in 2011


The NBA lockout. 2011. Local gyms were constantly packed as elite level players such as Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant played intense pickup games during the 2011 lockout. But, Kobe had other things on his mind.

Having lived in Italy while he was younger, when his father was playing professionally overseas, Kobe had a vision to play in Italy. He spoke fluent Italian among other languages and referred to one day playing in Italy as a “dream”.

We were so close to seeing the Mamba go international during the NBA lockout that it was stated Bryant and the Italian club Virtus Bologna had reached an agreement, allowing him to participate in games. However, due to unknown complications, that dream of Kobe Bryant’s never become a reality.