To Play in Italy, or Not to Play in Italy? A Question for Kobe Bryant. October 20, 2011 21:00

Italian team Virtus Bologna,  have said that due to "unexpected engagements" it is become impossible to sign  NBA star Kobe Bryant.

Kobe, who usually plays for the LA Lakers, has been forced to look outside of the U.S.A for playing time this season due to the fact that there is an NBA lockout currently under discussion.

Despite making the statement about the difficulties in the Bologna / Kobe agreements, both Virtus Bologna, and Kobe's representatives will continue to discuss the options, and work towards a deal.

Earlier this month, Bologna President Claudio Sabatini, said to the Associated Press that he had reached a tentative deal with Kobe's agent for a 10-game contract worth in excess of $3,000,000.  As expected, any deal involving Kobe would include a clause to allow him to return to the LA Lakers as soon as the NBA lockout comes to an end.

The club will continue to work to bring Kobe to Italy for mid-November, with Kobe having spent part of his childhood in Italy, he is said to be keen to play in the country.