Kobe Bryant is having no trouble drawing attention, and putting himself into position to make money with this lockout looming overhead. He’s been in negotiations with the Italian club Virtus Bologna for a minute now. When we first heard the club had offered $1 million to Kobe for one game, we almost lost it. Now, reports are saying the offer was increased to $2 million for one game. You can’t say no to that. The club says they have lined up some sponsorships and networks to support the “Kobe Night.” If you’re one of the card-carrying Kobe haters, the “He wants the whole show to himself” critics, now’s your chance to shine. What kind of a game could this possibly be if you’re paying one player that much, you’ve named the night after him and even have special networks there to cover this single player? There’s no way this wouldn’t turn into a glorified celebrity game, no different than anything else we’ve seen this offseason. If you’re wondering, Bryant’s NBA earnings per game this year would’ve been $308,000 … Who does Kobe think defends him the best out of everyone in the league? Our man Tony Allen. Allen is working on his perimeter game this summer, but his bread and butter, as he calls it, is being the dog. Allen and the Grizzlies are one of the teams we really miss right now. TA’s attitude kinda resonates with that whole squad: just a hard-working, scrappy group. Fun to watch … At this point, Kobe’s not the only one looking to make a move. We broke the news yesterday that there are some serious discussions about a two-team tour of paid NBA players, making stops in places like China. Also, Amar’e Stoudemire put everyone on notice when he said the stars of the league should start their own league. What’s the most likely scenario? Would you rather see a tour with the players still mainly focused on ending the lockout? Or a game-changing new league that could forever alter basketball in this country? If the stars go through with that league, who knows what the effects will be … STAT also told everyone he’d rather have Carmelo than LeBron at the end of a game. Pretty safe answer. Carmelo is his teammate, and has the stats to back up the claim. If we do lose a season, we are really going to miss out on LeBron’s response to the Finals last year. That would suck. Big time. Whether it’s good or bad, you know it’ll be great theater. Is he going to drop a dud and flame out again to the pressure or come back like Nas on Stillmatic? But it’s always forward I’m moving/Never backwards stupid, here’s another classic … Stoudemire was also asked who was the worst smelling player in the NBA. His answer: Ronny Turiaf, with Boris Diaw coming in a close second … On First Take, they asked ‘Melo if he could go back, would he include the same opt-out in his contract that Wade, Bosh and LeBron had? He said he would. You know what that means. We could’ve legitimately seen Wade, LeBron and Carmelo team up on the same team to create the most dominating outside trio the game has ever seen. The Heat would’ve had no size at all, but Carmelo on the block, Wade flying around off the ball, and LeBron handling would’ve been killer. Could it have worked? Are they too similar, or better yet, would these three just not be able to find enough shots? It’s crazy to think about. Bosh fits in well there, and actually had a very good year once he figured out his role (try telling that to his haters, who are more ruthless than anyone). But still. LeBron, D-Wade AND ‘Melo? … Tristan Thompson gets his “Welcome to the NBA” moment, courtesy of John Wall. Poor Tristan … Chris Sheridan is reporting that Sebastian Telfair is following the tracks of his cousin to China and will sign with the Jiangsu Dragons. Let’s hope he doesn’t come up for air eating Vaseline … Here’s a tweet from Al Iannazzone of The Record concerning lockout negotiations: NBAPA chief Billy Hunter just announced on WFAN that the two sides have agreed to meet with a federal mediator on Monday … Some of the Dime crew became huge Clemson fans at some point over the course of the past few weeks. Maybe it’s the orange crush uniforms. Maybe it’s that ridiculous freshman wideout, Sammy Watkins. Maybe it’s because they’re one of the major sleeper teams (or at least were before people started noticing them) of the season. But now this mess: QB Tjah Boyd hurt his hip last weekend because he wasn’t wearing any hip pads. He explained the absence of the pads like this: “For swag reasons.” Can we slap him? … The Los Angeles D-Fenders won the 2011 NBA Development League Draft Lottery and will pick first come Thursday, Nov. 3. The Austin Toros have the second selection, while the Maine Red Claws, Sioux Falls Skyforce and Texas Legends round out the top five … And we’ve announced the winners of our NBA 2K12 giveaway. The four winners are Jason (w/ post #29), David Pean (post #40), Brian Nathan (post #82) and Mohammed (post #115). Congrats people … We’re out like Turiaf’s hygiene.
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