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NBA Lockout Watch, Day 22: Players Await FIBA Ruling Before Making Overseas Decisions
Published July 22, 2011
SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO? Besiktas coach Ergin Ataman Thursday said that Lakers G Kobe Bryant's reps "have had conversations about a deal for him to play" for the Turkish club. Ataman said that the team is "trying to satisfy Bryant's salary demands so that he can join" Williams in Turkey. Ataman noted the money to pay Bryant's salary would come from the club itself and a "special sponsor that we are talking with." Bryant already has an endorsement deal with Turkish Airlines. Ataman said that Bryant, like Williams, would "have an opt-out clause to leave Besiktas when the NBA lockout ends" (L.A. TIMES, 7/22). Player agent Mark Bartelstein said he is "aggressively pursuing opportunities" overseas for his clients, but added, "None of them are dying to go over there." Bartelstein: "They prefer for there to be an NBA season. My message to the players (is) that we need to be aggressive in looking for things." Pacers C Roy Hibbert said, "Right now my top option is to stay in the States. But if we don't have a season or we're missing many games, my agent has something set up for me to go over there" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 7/22). Former NBAer Penny Hardaway said playing overseas during the lockout is "definitely not a good look." Hardaway: "It’s not a good look because it means you’re not caring about what’s going on over here, you’re just gonna go and make money. But hey, that’s the way it works. Every guy has a right to do whatever they want to do" (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 7/21). CBSSPORTS.com's Gregg Doyel wrote under the header, "Not Enough Euros In World To Make Stars Go Globe-Trotting" (CBSSPORTS.com, 7/21).