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Manu Ginobili not going to Italy as Kobe’s replacement

Oct 5, 2011, 10:50 AM EDT

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It’s the rumor that has been floating around out of Italy — if Kobe Bryant doesn’t sign with Virtus Bologna, the team will ink Manu Ginobili to a deal.

Kobe described his plans in Italy as “up in the air” at the labor talks Tuesday in New York, but Ginobili is not on board. Not yet, maybe not ever.

That is what his agent told the San Antonio News Express.

Ginobili’s agent, Herb Rudoy, on Tuesday emphatically refuted that report, writing in a text message, “Not true!” when asked if Ginobili had made any such agreement.

It could still happen in theory. But with a deal still possible to save most or all of the NBA season, nobody is pushing to make a move yet. If talks really fall apart and games get cancelled, you could see a number of players make a move overseas pretty quickly.

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