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Kobe says it’s “very possible” he plays in Italy. Sure it is.

Sep 28, 2011, 11:26 AM EDT

Kobe Bryant AP

Kobe Bryant knows marketing.

He knows that if you’re in Italy promoting Nike and your brand, and there are rumors swirling about offers for you to play in Italy during the lockout, it’s bad marketing to say, “No, no way I’m playing here.” You give people some hope if you want to sell more shoes.

With that context, we bring you Kobe’s quotes to the Associated Press at one of his stops in a Nike-fueled tour through Italy.

Kobe Bryant says it’s “very possible” he’ll play in Italy during the NBA lockout, adding that the country is like home to him since he spent part of his childhood there….

Bryant says, “It would be a dream for me. There’s an opportunity that we’ve been discussing over the last few days. It’s very possible and that’s good news for me.”

I’ll believe it the day he walks on the court wearing a Virtus Bologna black and white uniform. Until then it’s all just talk and marketing.

Kobe’s biggest dream is ring number six, the same number Jordan has. Kobe would risk injury and put more miles on tired knees to play overseas for a sliver of his NBA salary. He’s not going to do it. Not now anyway, if the lockout drags on and things look bleak mid-November, then things change. If a full NBA season is going to be lost all bets are off. And if he does play anywhere overseas, Italy is the best bet.

But I will not believe it until I see it. Until then I’m pretty sick of the game.

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