As reported by Yahoo Sports, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is engaged in a more serious contract talks with teams in China than he is with Turkish team Besiktas.
ESPN reported that Bryant was supposed to have a meeting last Saturday with the Turkish team to sort out contract issues.
However, a source close to Bryant said he hasn’t had conversations with the Turkish team in two weeks, and labeled Bryant’s chances of playing with Besiktas at “zero percent.”
Bryant, sources said, is still listening to offers to play overseas during the NBA’s lockout, and considers China a more likely option.
He has exchanged proposals with Chinese teams, and one source said it’s unlikely Bryant would accept any deal that pays him less than $1.5 million per month. Bryant would be free to rejoin the Lakers as soon as the lockout ends.
Bryant, a source close to him said, also has become irritated with Besiktas officials making public proclamations on that status of talks with him.
Bryant was in Washington over the weekend to participate in a celebrity soccer game held by Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra.
He recently returned from a three-week trip in which he spent time in China as well as the Philippines where he played in two exhibition games.
Besiktas already has agreed on contract terms with New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams to play next season in Turkey until the lockout ends. Former NBA star, Allen Iverson also played for Besiktas last season.
Bryant said during his recent trip to China that he would consider playing in China or Turkey during the lockout.