(AFP) – Oct 7, 2011
ROME — Italian Olympic Committee (Coni) president Gianni Petrucci has poured cold water on Bologna's attempts to sign global superstar Kobe Bryant on a short-term contract.
The Italian side are in negotiations to try to bring the Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard to Bologna during the current NBA lock-out.
Bologna are struggling to find the resources to fund a move for Bryant who is proving much more costly than they had at first anticipated.
And Petrucci is wary about the Italian team over-committing themselves just for a publicity stunt as Bryant's stay is unlikely to be of a sufficient duration for him to have much influence on their title chances.
"I respect (Bologna president Claudio) Sabatini but I don't believe that Italian basketball will be enriched by the presence of a phenomenon," Petrucci told SkySport 24.
"I don't want to create any more problems for basketball, they already have enough.
"I'm not saying I'm against it (the move for Bryant) but you understand my point of view.
"Right now sporting federations need certain rules, they need tranquility, everyone must have limits."
While Bologna had proposed a $3-million deal to Bryant to play in nine or 10 matches, current reports in the Italian press suggest the 33-year-old American only wants to make himself available for one match, while expecting $2-million in return.
That would make it almost impossible for Bologna to generate the funds necessary to pay for the move.
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