If you’re an NBA fan starved for news about anything other than labor negotiations during the lockout, you’re probably at least somewhat familiar with the courtship of Kobe Bryant by Italian team Virtus Bologna. A couple weeks ago, the two sides (according to Virtus Bologna, anyway) were on the verge of striking a deal, but nothing’s official yet – and even if a deal is struck, Kobe might only play one game in Italy instead of 10.
Bologna’s trying, though, still acting like it expects to cut a deal…and now, trying to enlist the world’s highest-profile help. The club sent a message to none other than President Barack Obama urging him to…do something, we guess? The letter’s posted on the team website. Here it is:
Dear Mr. President,
We have a dream: to see Kobe Bryant playing for our Team Virtus Pallacanestro Bologna, the Italian town wellknown in the world as basket City.
According to your wishes we hope that the Nba lockout will shortly stop but in the meanwhile let us have the chance to see at least for one game the great Kobe Bryant playing with our black and white jersey and be part of our history.
Is it just us, or must this team really be getting desperate? What can Obama do in this situation? What’s he going to do, issue an executive order forcing Kobe to take the deal and open himself up to all sorts of wisecracks about shipping American jobs overseas (yes, the prospective deal allows Kobe to go back to the Lakers whenever the lockout ends, but like that would stop anyone)? Then again, the letter really doesn’t ask for anything – it asks the president to “let us have the chance” to see Kobe play in Italy. Does Bologna think Obama’s sabotaging the deal behind their backs?
Couple other notes: the team said it “would have liked to keep the message confidential and private” – well, wouldn’t that have been easy to do? Or was this maybe just a publicity stunt where they actually wanted everyone to see the letter and get the point across just how serious they are to bring Kobe into the fold, for however long they can? And as far as “we hope that the Nba lockout will shortly stop” – sure, guys. Sure.