Smack / Aug 1, 2011 / 12:00 am

No Go: Very Slim Chance Kobe Bryant Plays In Turkey

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

Somebody is lying. Besiktas has spent the past few weeks trying to convince anyone who will listen that they have a very real chance of landing Kobe Bryant. But he’s saying they haven’t spoken in a while. Also, after a club official put an agreement between the two parties at a 50/50 chance, another source close to the negotiations says the chance of Bryant playing there during the lockout is very small. Zero percent to be exact. 24 is actually saying he will play anywhere. But do you think he really means it? … Bryant spoke this weekend in D.C., where he played soccer in the Mia Hamm-Nomar Garciaparra Celebrity Soccer Challenge. He also scored a goal. Could he give Steve Nash a run for his soccer money? … It’s being reported it’s much more likely that we see Bryant play in China rather than in Turkey. But there are a few problems. The Chinese Basketball Association plans to put a little bit of a damper on the players-to-China possibility. Teams will only be able to sign one current NBA player, and no one will be allowed to include an opt-out clause in a contract with any NBA player … Would you start Jimmer Fredette if you were the Kings? They might not to start the season, instead going with Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton. But we can guarantee the pressure from the public to see what Fredette has will be enormous. It’s going to be fun, but will it work? Between these three, and DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings will pass less than Kyle Lee Watson … High school prospect Alex Poythress has ruffled some feathers by admitting that a college coach offered him a scholarship during a summer tournament, even though it’s an NCAA violation to do so. But this type of stuff happens all the time. Except, he’s alleging Mike Krzyzewski is the coach who broke the rule. Now Duke is planning on investigating what exactly went down. At least it was probably worth it. The forward is considered one of the best players in the nation … And it’s been a bad week for former NBA players. There was the whole Toni Kukoc is a pimp accusation, Jalen Rose drinking and driving, Rodney White turning a bike track into a weed operation and even Anthony Mason and Latrell Sprewell forgetting to pay millions of tax dollas. About the only good thing coming from that crew was the Sonics appreciation night at a recent Mariners game when everyone who’s a someone in Seattle NBA history showed up. Now Samaki Walker is in trouble after being stopped with 10 grams of Mary Jane as well as recreational prescription drugs, and 10 bottles of liquid steroids. Walker tried to eat all of the weed but wasn’t quite quick enough. He was never quick enough. Apparently, he got most of it down but still the cops charged him for all of it. How did they find it all? … We’re out like Walker’s weed.

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  • Crazy J

    Nice reference to Kyle Lee Watson..RIP Birdie a.k.a. 2pac & Flip a.k.a. bernie mac..

  • Otto

    Agree with Crazy J. Loving the Kyle Lee Watson reference. Loser gets crazy hard Spalding written on your ass boonks.

  • alf (from melmak)

    Is this any indication of the kind of team New York builds when three of the six names mentioned by Dime as having recent run-in with the law were former players with the fourth having serious trade considerations?

    Anthony Mason — 1991 to 1996
    Latrell Sprewell — 1999 to 2003
    Jalen Rose — 2006 season
    Rodney White — in serious trade discussions in 2004

  • Ghostzilla

    “NUUUTTTTTSOOOOOO!!!!!”

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Quiznakes K Dizzle

    Oh DAY-UM!!! Coach K broke a rule? Let’s see where this goes….

  • Skeeter McGee

    Samaki Walker keeps it G… He probably tried eating it so fast and threw it all up from how awful it must have been… cops saw the weed thrown up and charged him for it all is my guess haha.

  • King

    “They Can’t erase what we were man”

  • heckler

    I can do this all day:

    “c’mon coach, we both know there’s more to making it than what happens on the court”

    “its a damn shame what happened to Flip”

    “good no call ref, good no call”

    “I HOUSED Montross….”

    “Check this out. You ain’t goin to college or any fuckin where if the Bird Man don’t win. You might be on the other team, but you playin for ME. Remember that”

    “You hear that Nutso? The boy here says he owes me. HE owes ME. Are we even? ARE WE EVEN?”

    “Just ’cause a motherfucker’s born into your family don’t mean you stay family”

    “Who the fuck you think you’re talking to, man? This ain’t Nutso. This ain’t that dopehead on the roof taking orders from you. This ain’t your same little brother following behind you trying to go outside. You ain’t the motherfuckin’ man no more. I’m the one! Shit has changed! It’s a new day, bro. If you can’t clean up your act, I suggest you raise the fuck up and get the hell out of Dodge… or get caught up”

  • jzsmoove

    i would have more respect for Kobe if he did play for just the passion, no lights, no drama, no money. and if he did play, this lockout would be over in a jiffy. actually, if any one of these 3 played overseas for peanuts, the lockout will be lifted: Kobe, KD and Wade,no one else. i dont think even our MVP, LBJ or say a carmelo or Howard could open the lockgate.

  • jdizzle

    @Dime I mean really who was Kyle Lee Watson gonna pass it to? Bobby? His best teammate was Thomas Shepard.

    Pure talent. Fatal flaw

    Yo man he’s playin ball without a ball

    Is he crying? IS HE CRYING? Drag this bitch off to the side with the rest of the bitches. Hes crying!

    Oh yeah…heard you a Hoya now. Congratulations. What you think theyll think up in Georgetown about the presents you took? Hmmm….

  • First & Foremost

    I’ve been going back and forth over the players playing abroad but now I’m firmly set against it. The players have nothing to gain. Just imagine what time those games would come on over here.

    Have you ever watched a game with subtitles or listened to forgeign commentary?

    Once again, it is all about how it gets spun in the media. No American wants to hear about outsourcing. Yet star players are outsourcing their talents for the veiwing pleasure of those abroad. These guys are walking corporations.

    How would any NBA player look saying, “Support Our Troops” or “Bring Our Troops Home” and then have a home game in Turkey, China, or Spain. The players are in a no win situation.

  • Skeeter McGee

    @ First & Foremost

    Players aren’t going overseas to be viewed by American audiences on television; they’re going to stay in shape and stay competitive against the second-best competition in the world. I highly doubt their first concern is “are my folks back in NJ, Boston, LA, etc., going to be able to watch me?”

    To tie in basketball and outsourcing in the same topic is absolutely ridiculous. You are entitled to your opinion, ofcourse, but nobody is going to say that a company trying to cut costs by outsourcing abroad is the same as a multi-million dollar athlete trying to stay physically in basketball shape playing overseas.

    To support your country and troops does not mean you have to be in America to be patriotic. I usually don’t really care about most of the garbage people post on here, but to liken what you have brought up to the NBA lockout is borderline ignorant.

  • Dan Tanner

    I can’t remember a player other than Kwame Brown I bitched and yelled at more while watching a Lakers game than Samaki Walker. What is with the Lakers signing all these lame big guys when they have had big guys in the past such as Shaq, Horace, Grant, and currently Gasol. Its like they can’t help but sign some of the shittiest big guys to play. Its no wonder Walker isnt in the NBA and is claiming he plays for Syria. I also found it hilarious in the article I read that he said steroids are legal over there but he was in Arizona.

  • doc

    Kyle Watson was one of my favorite players when I was young.

  • First & Foremost

    @Skeeter, you don’t have to go overseas to stay in shape and stay competitive. Nothing is stopping the players who will have contracts when the league resumes from holding their own practices.

    1987-1988 Washington Redskins – The NFL had a players strike, yet that team still held practices. When the league resumed guess who won the 1988 Superbowl? They didn’t get better by playing Rugby or going to the CFL.

    Outscourcing is a less ridiculous point than you are making it out to be. Corporations send jobs overseas and that benefits who exactly? The players playing overseas benefits everyone else but that fan in Kansas, Compton, Idaho, Camden, Seattle, and any other place in America. So from the standpoint of a fan that already thinks the players are millionaires complaining over making even more money. The players are refusing to accept terms to go play basketball yet accept terms to go play basketball elsewhere for less money. Just like a corporation refusing to give jobs to people right around the corner, yet are willing to give them away around the world. Didn’t think I needed to connect the dot for you.

    WWII veterans ALL used Gillette razors because it was provided to them while they served. It was a little slice of home. American sports play the same role to soldiers serving abroad. Opening weekend for football is huge. NBA games on Christmas and MLK day are not as huge but big enough. So how does a player rationalize, I don’t want to take a pay cut to play basketball but I’ll take a pay cut to play basketball during a concurrent league? To nkow that you are fighting for a cause while people you hoped to be like when you were younger are bickering over how much money they’ll make. So yes, I see your point about not being in America to be patriotic but not providing a highly anticipated slice of home is the bigger issue. Imagine a mashup of players saying, “Come home soon but you won’t see us play when you get here.”

  • Ekstor

    @First and Foremost

    First, the NFL analogy is not a good comparison. NFL players don’t have the same flexibility of options as NBA players do. There’s no equivalent European league playing American style football looking to sign our players.

    Second, practice is not the same as actually playing games, even if you could get entire teams to meet and scrimmage on a regular basis. The actual competition of an organized league goes much further in keeping a player sharp than just scrimmaging against the same guys every day.

    Third, you can’t overestimate the importance of money to these guys. Not only is it an opportunity to keep their skills sharp in actual competition, but they get paid to do it.

    Finally, you forget that it’s the owners locking out the players, not vice versa. Unless you think that the players should simply accept whatever terms or restrictions the owners come up with, the idea of the “complaining athlete” ignores who actually initiated this lockout.

  • First & Foremost

    There are other American-style football leagues around the world. One is even north of the border. Are they as glamorous, popular, or as wealthy? No. An option, yes. What did Mike Vanderjack do after missing clutch fg after clutch fg? Those leagues would love to sign NFL players but they can’t go toe to toe with the salaries. You don’t think all of those NCAA athletes become insurance salesman do you?

    Second, practice isn’t the same as the heat of the moment but building chemestry goes a long way. What did Heat fans say for the first 8 months of the season, “well they didn’t really have a training camp together, they are still getting used to playing with each other.” Well, now is as good of a time as any to start playing together.

    2B, How many players could actually fit on Euro rosters? Those leagues will bend over backwards for star players but they aren’t going to whore themselves out for every NBA player. Which is why they have roster restrictions. So even if one player from every team gets a foreign deal, how does that help his team get better? If you go off and learn chinese, how does that help us communicate with each other?

    Third, assuming we are still talking about superstars here, those guys are being paid pennies on the dollar. Are you trying to tell me that Kobe’s finances are horrible? He is still pumping out colorways for his shoes. Amare is about to sign a deal with lenscrafters [Not intended to be a factual statement]. The players that can afford and would pull offers overseas, all have endorsement deals. They have money.

    Finally, tomato-tomato; pajama-pajama. The point I’m trying to make is that by playing overseas, that gives leverage to the owners. How silly does this sound, “I’m not going to take a pay cut to play in the NBA, BUT I’ll take a pay cut to play overseas.” The players now have the freedom to take their talents wherever they please. However, by doing so, they are making less money than whatever deal the NBA owners would give them and the longer they hold out, the more Father Time catches up with them.

    Furthermore, I understand the business aspect of players trying to get the best deal going forward. However, playing overseas does nothing for them at the negotiation table. Deron Williams signed a $5M deal. He was set to make $16M this season. He just proved players at the top end of the spectrum can have no problem playing for less money.

    Anyone else?

  • Skeeter McGee

    It’s to send a point to the owners also that it would behoove and benefit everyone involved to bring basketball back to the NBA, and to make the lockout go away as soon as possible. That, and the fact that the players have the right to explore once in a lifetime opportunities due to the lockout to stay competitive are also the reasons I was referring to. We all know the only way to really stay in shape is to actually ball. Yeah you can have practices but tell me, when has pick-up ball and practice ever lived up to the competition of a regulation, game? I can’t think of one. Whether it was summer leagues or summer practices or season practices, the games are where the competition level really stepped up.

    Not to mention the players get to explore more of their mid-range games and physicality because overseas leagues are not called on touch fouls and can be extremely physical, and they don’t rely solely on the isolation game. This is a far cry from the basketball exhibited in the NBA and the players that experience the zone defenses and the physical play can only help their arsenal of moves for when they come back and play.

    All I’m saying is going overseas isn’t as ruthless and “spoiled” as many people are claiming the actions of the athletes to be. It’s their choice and I think it can’t hurt them unless they get severely injured, but that could happen in the player ran practices and un-official team practices that First & Foremost mentioned above.

  • Skeeter McGee

    And the players are not exploring overseas options because they need the money. It is a bargaining tool because all these owners have locked out their players, yet they are cringing at the idea of their beloved stars going to risk injury playing in a foreign country. If I’m the owner of one of these teams, I have more of a reason to get something done, and probably even side with the players’ stances on some issues just to make sure this lockout doesn’t drag on to the point where players are playing a whole season abroad.

    It definitely does not give leverage to the owners because the owners are the ones locking the players out. Both sides need each other, and one can argue most of the owners are so well off that they don’t really “need” an NBA season next year. But the harsh truth is if a whole season is missed, who knows what it could do to the popularity of the sport. The athletes? As far as the big names, they will be fine. The smaller athletes can go overseas as well but no lockout has ever lasted 2 seasons (as far as I know) therefore money is certainly not an issue, and the leverage goes to the players if they find no problem in playing in another country. This will make the owners sweat because their prized commodity is risking God-knows-what in Turkey, or China, or Brazil, or France, etc.

  • Ekstor

    First, whatever other American-style football leagues that exist are not even close to the level of international competition that currently exists for basketball. The proof can be seen in so many different ways. How many international stars come and play in the NFL? Realize, I’m talking about those who played overseas and then signed a contract and became relevant players here… Canada probably has the most significant league outside of the US and how many players come out of that system and succeed in the NFL? The numbers prove that the internationalization of football is NOWHERE close to basketball. We also have NO olympic competition as it relates to American football because of how niche that sport is within the US.

    Second, your argument about practice and chemistry is apples to oranges. While there is value to practicing together, the real development of chemistry comes with playing together in competitive scenarios that simply does not exist in mere practice and scrimmage scenarios. The NBA finals of this past year proves my point where we had two teams that mostly consisted of players added within the past year or two, both of whom defeated teams who had been together for longer periods.

    Third, your “pennies on the dollar” argument regarding the players salary overseas ignores the fact that they play far fewer games both in overall number AND in frequency. The difference between the two contracts is not nearly as vast when considering that their season is only 30 games long.

    As to whether their activity overseas bolsters the owner’s position or not is up to debate. If our star players go overseas, they can continue to make money, while the owners here can’t. The owners locked out the players yet it’s the star players who make the league what it is today. The ones truly getting hurt are the mid-level and minimum salary types who aren’t playing and don’t attract attention overseas.

  • Skeeter McGee

    ^ co-sign.

  • First & Foremost

    Bottums up…

    Divide and conquer, playing overseas only benefits the superstars. The only players that actually have to sacrifice are the top teir money makers. How many superstars are actually board members of the player’s union? [One, Chris Paul]. Everyone else needs not be mentioned. So if the union has to fight for all NBA players yet the most popular are going about their business overseas, how does that help the union? Either shrink the rosters to maintain salaries or trim the fat from the fat cats. So the other 92% of the players just have to sit around watching megastars make money. Eventually enough peasants will rise up and take the best offer they can get with or without the support of the Superstars since the Superstars are clearly not showing support for the little guys.

    One year away from NBA competition is still one year away from NBA competition. Would you rather make $5M over one year or $16M over the same year? True you work more but when you have mouths to feed you gladly accept the additional hours.

    Yeah, I see your point about forging with fire but you play harder with guys you know on a personal level. Ask OKC.

    True, the NFL is big enough, a roster of at least 53, in which they can afford to have internal development. Also a bigger draft classes, they simply don’t need to scout other leagues. However, can NFL players play in other leagues if the NFL decided not to employ them? Yes.

    Since when has an outside league even held a strobe light to the NBA? We have tons of players coming from overseas because of the failure of a farm system known as NCAA Basketball. If colleges taught basketball instead of rolling out highlight reels foreign players would still be considered an afterthought. For every Eurogreat that has come over I can name an equal and opposite bust.

    So what if every other country claims to play basketball. Where do player who don’t get drafted to the NBA go… overseas. Where do players who don’t get drafted to the NFL… across the border. Slightly different rules, Check. Lessor competition, Check. Good but not great pay, Check. Good enough for comparison purposes… I think so.
    —————-
    To be continued

  • Big Island

    F&F – I actually feel the opposite of you regarding playing overseas. I don’t think the big name stars should do it because it’s too risky for them, but other guys who need to work on their games should, like Andrew Bynum. Or someone like Jordan Farmar or Aaron Brooks, who played, but are probably on the way out.

    Eventually the lockout will end. Eventually they’ll play. Blah blah blah blah blah. The owners, as a whole, are assholes. The players, as a whole, don’t really know what they’re getting into. Ultimately the players will cave because millionaires run low on money before billionaires.

  • First & Foremost

    I think it was Skeeter that pointed out the once in a lifetime opp for the players. It is just as rare an opportunity of other leagues to sign NBA superstars. Brooks and Farmar won’t be big draws for any of the clubs out there. I’m saying, players are better served doing their same offseason routines. If you want/need to get better at some aspect you can put in the time. Ray Allen is practicing his shots with a hand in his face. Sheer repetition until it becomes habit. Does Dwight really need to go overseas to learn how to make free throws?

    Carmelo alienated himself from his team and it showed in their play. Everyone had a me first mentality. Guys can “play” together and never develop chemestry. Chemestry is developed during the offseason. Dallas won because their core had a full training camp or two together and bonded. Miami lost because everywhere you look it is the Big 3 who only gelled at times and then everyone else. No unity. Bonding is done in the offseason. Had everyone known Chris Bosh cries after tough losses no one would have pointed it out making him look like a little B****.

    Props to Big Island – No insults, he just respectfully disagreed.