An Italian team owner asks for President Obama’s help in recruiting Kobe Bryant

Kelly Dwyer

Kobe Bryant won't be playing in an Italian league during this lockout mainly because money, insurance, and timing issues are getting in the way. There is still a chance that the NBA could have a truncated season in 2011-12, Bryant wants to lend his voice to the NBA Players Association's chorus, and the Italian league can't really afford him.

[Related: NFL coach tries to recruit LeBron James]

Attempts at re-arranging the Italian league's schedule to favor Kobe's ability to draw in paying customers have already fallen through, so the publicity obsessed owner of one team has taken the next logical step. Virtus Bologna owner Claudio Sabatini has asked President Barack Obama for help in recruiting Kobe.

(By "next logical step" I meant "a crazy-man's next-best idea.")

From Virtus Bologna's website, via the Los Angeles Times:

"Dear Mr. President,

We have a dream: to see Kobe Bryant playing for our Team Virtus Pallacanestro Bologna, the Italian town well known 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."

Even with a booming economy, unemployment at virtually nil, or deep into a second term, the president would have (and this is a rough estimate) about 13 trillion more important things to consider than Sabatini's request; but it's worth trying, I suppose. Even with his tongue placed firmly in cheek, Sabatini clearly thinks that it's in the president's best interests to convince a man he doesn't know and has met just twice to leave the United States to take on a lucrative part-time job in Italy.

It is nice to know that it isn't just NBA team owners who are outright nutters. Apparently you have to be a wack job to own a basketball team in Italy, too.

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