Besiktas, a Turkish club team based in Istanbul, shocked the NBA world by agreeing to a contract with New Jersey Nets star Deron Williams to allow him to play overseas during the NBA lockout. But why stop at one of the 15 best players in the NBA? Why not go for another? Why not try for Kobe Bryant?
That's apparently their plan, because coach Ergin Ataman has now given two different interviews suggesting the club plans to woo Bryant to follow Williams to Istanbul. After first dropping the nugget to The New York Times, Ataman went one step further with Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
Ataman: "If Kobe wants to play during lockout, wants to play with Deron, live in 1 of world's best cities, we can find some deal on money."
In a way, this is pretty hilarious because of that wild report a few years ago about Kobe Bryant being offered $50 million a year to play in Greece (to which Bryant replied "Do you know any reasonable person that would turn down 50 [million dollars]). On the other hand, Ataman's team did just get Deron Williams to come play for a European club that isn't in the Euroleague. At this rate, he probably thinks he could convince the entire 2008 Redeem Team to join his roster.
Ataman is trying to set up a meeting with Bryant's agent next week, according to Wojnarowski. I'd love to be a fly on the wall for that one.