There ain’t nothing like going home. Except for Kobe Bryant because home is a number of different places for him: in Philadelphia where he went to high school and first received a brush with fame; in Los Angeles where he’s become world famous, and in Italy where the first seeds of a love affair with a game took him to places none of his childhood friends thought possible. Wouldn’t it be fun to go back there and shove it all in their faces? See how good I’ve become. See how successful I’ve become. The Mamba has a great chance now to do that. Hoping that chance would appeal to his competitive fire, the Italian club Virtus Bologna has offered Bryant a one-year deal for $6.7 million to play for them. Kobe’s stated before he would one day love to go back there and play, and he is a pretty worldly person, but even if he doesn’t want to commit to a whole year (though he wouldn’t have to if the lockout ends), the club gave him other options for one month or two months or even game-to-game. If Bryant takes the “by home game” deal, he’d make $739,640 a game. Read that again (although for someone who makes $25 mill a year in the NBA, it’s nothing). The team has also inquired about Manu Ginobili, but if they were to get Bryant, what would that mean for the global game and more importantly, the lockout? Would that put more pressure on the owners and the players to get something done? … Kobe is such a beast that they might as well start billing money with his mug on it … Back when we were watching Gilbert Arenas beat DeShawn Stevenson with one hand in a post-practice shootout, never would we have ever thought that a championship team would one day be clamoring to bring Soulja Boy back. But that’s exactly what Jason Terry is doing, telling reporters he is pleading with Dallas to bring back Stevenson, the starting two guard for most of last season. Okay, Rudy Fernandez might technically be a “better player” than Stevenson, but in this situation we are down with the JET. Stevenson brings a toughness and an attitude that the Mavs aren’t known for. He brings his crazy (don’t underestimate this), and without him, who’s going to guard the Bryants and the Jameses and the Wades? They need him even if he may not average 5 PPG or even shoot 40 percent. Terry understands this, calling it the Stevenson “it” factor … Earlier this week, we dropped knowledge from the book “Beyond the Phog: Untold Stories from Kansas Basketball’s Most Dominant Decade” on how Mario Chalmers and Sherron Collins talked smack to Villanova coach Jay Wright. Now, here’s more from the book. Apparently, Kris Humphries once nearly went to Kansas, but didn’t because no one on the team could stand him. He came for a visit, and was so cocky and arrogant that Keith Langford told the head coach Roy Williams that he could not bring him in. Just couldn’t. Humphries told everyone how he’d come in and be the star, that they’d all have to take a back seat to him. Instead, he went and did the same thing at Minnesota. Who knows, maybe that arrogance is what got him Kim K. But what we can say is that Humphries is actually one of the more personable guys in the league, always talking and always approachable in the locker rooms … NBA 2K12 released another Developer Insight, this one on the game’s audio. What was perhaps the best audio in any sports game that we’ve played has only gotten better … And what did you expect us to take a backseat during this lockout? It’s at the point where no one really knows what everyone is fighting for. Is it money? Is it power? Is it respect? Is it race? We kicked off a firestorm of discussion yesterday by basically saying the owners aren’t going to let the players have all the power, especially when those players are black … We’re out like Kris Humphries.
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