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Italian team's top offer to Kobe Bryant is $5 million for one year

Virtus Bologna hopes the Lakers star agrees to deal before he arrives in Italy this week for a tour arranged by one of his sponsors.

September 26, 2011|Staff and wire reports
  • Lakers guard Kobe Bryant conducts a basketball clinic in Singapore last week.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant conducts a basketball clinic in Singapore last… (Wong Maye-E / Associated…)

The Italian team Virtus Bologna says its top offer to Kobe Bryant is a one-year contract worth $5 million.

With NBA players locked out, Virtus hopes the Lakers star agrees to a deal before he arrives in Italy this week for a tour arranged by one of his sponsors.

"An Italian brand well known around the world" is prepared to provide cash for the deal, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told the Associated Press on Monday, indicating the unidentified company is not Bologna's main sponsor, Canadian Solar.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because negotiations are ongoing, said the other offers on the table include a two-month deal worth nearly $2 million, a one-month contract for $1.3 million or $900,000 for only one game.

All of the offers are pretax and would allow Bryant to return to the Lakers immediately if the lockout ends. Bryant spent part of his youth in Italy while his father played in the country and he speaks Italian, prompting Bologna to hope he might return for sentimental reasons.

The person said there have been nightly conference calls between Bryant's agent, Rob Pelinka, and Bologna President Claudio Sabatini.

The Turkish club Besiktas and at least one team in China have also expressed interest in the 33-year-old Bryant.

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A person familiar with the plans says representatives for NBA players and owners will meet Tuesday and perhaps Wednesday.

The players' association has canceled a regional meeting with players Tuesday in Miami so its negotiators can meet with league officials in New York instead, the person told the Associated Press on Monday on condition of anonymity because the details are supposed to remain confidential.

The bargaining session, first reported by CBSSports.com, comes just days after the league canceled 43 preseason games scheduled for Oct. 9-15.

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Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks said that he underwent surgical procedures on his left knee and right elbow in May.

Etc.

Kevin Parrom, a junior swingman at the University of Arizona, was shot and wounded over the weekend while visiting his family in New York City, but his injuries do not appear to be serious.

The shooting at a residence in the Bronx followed a dispute that occurred about 1 a.m. Saturday, police officer Chris Pisano said. Parrom suffered gunshot wounds to his left hand and right knee, and was taken to a hospital in stable condition, Pisano said.

No arrests have been made and the investigation continues.

"[Parrom] looks forward to his return to Tucson and being back in class this week," said Arizona Coach Sean Miller, who has been in contact with his player. "Once we have more information, we'll be able to address his potential return to team activities."

A statement issued by Arizona said that Parrom, a Bronx native, had gone home to visit his mother, who is ill.

Parrom, a 6-foot-6 reserve, averaged 5.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in the NCAA tournament last season as the Wildcats advanced to the Elite Eight.

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Acclaimed Ohio State basketball recruit LaQuinton Ross will not play for the team after the NCAA ruled he had not qualified academically.

Ross, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward, is from Jackson, Miss., and played in high school at Life Center Academy [N.J.].

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Washington, D.C., native Hugh "Baby Shaq" Jones defeated New Orleans native Lance Perique, 18-9, in the finals of the Red Bull King of the Rock one-on-one basketball tournament held Saturday night on Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay.

Jones was the last of 64 total competitors from 13 countries who qualified to make the tournament. He took home its $10,000 first-place prize by using a strong post-up game against Perique, repeatedly backing him down toward the basket with his 6-foot-3, 230-pound frame until he scored an easy basket.

It's the second year of the tournament, where the half-court games are held in the old prison's recreation yard. Inglewood native Izeah "Clutch" Bowman won it last year, but he was knocked out in the round of 16 this year by Dalane Finely of Norfolk, Va.

--Baxter Holmes

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The Philadelphia Flyers will play host the New York Rangers in the fifth NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 2, 2012, at Citizens Bank Park, the home of the Philadelphia Phillies.

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Former Ohio State and NFL quarterback Art Schlichter is facing additional time behind bars as he prepares to plead guilty to federal fraud charges stemming from a million-dollar ticket scheme.

An amended plea agreement filed Monday in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, calls for him to serve nearly two more years for violating his probation from a conviction in Indiana.

Marion Superior Court Judge Grant Hawkins in Indianapolis had refused to cancel Schlichter's arrest warrant in Indiana until the extra time was added. Schlichter was convicted of forgery and theft in Indiana in 1997.

Schlichter, 51, has said he'll plead guilty to federal charges of bank and wire fraud and filing a false tax return linked to the ticket scheme.

State and federal authorities say Schlichter, whose NFL career was derailed by a gambling addiction, promised college and NFL game tickets, including the Super Bowl, but never delivered despite receiving thousands of dollars in payments.

His first plea deal in federal court called for him to serve eight years in prison, to run at the same time as a 10-year state prison sentence on related charges.

The new deal filed Monday increases the federal time by 27 months.

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