Italian club Virtus Bologna said it has reached a verbal agreement with Kobe Bryant for the Los Angeles Lakers star to play in Italy during the NBA lockout.
“We have reached an economic deal,” Virtus president Claudio Sabatini told a local radio station. “There’s still some things to arrange but at this point I’m very optimistic. I would say it’s 95 percent done.”
A person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press on Friday that the sides have settled on a $3 million contract for the opening 40 days of the Italian league season.
When NBA labor talks resume Friday, NBA commissioner David Stern is planning to threaten players with the cancellation of the entire 2011-12 season if the sides have not made major progress toward a deal by the end of the weekend, according to sources close to the talks.
Although sources said the union views such an extreme stance as more of a negotiating tactic than a legitimate threat, Stern went almost that far in his comments to reporters in New York on Wednesday after a second straight day of negotiations.
Referring to meetings scheduled Friday that are expected to attract as many as 15 owners and star players such as the Heat’s LeBron James, Stern said: “I’m focused on let’s get the two committees in and see whether they can either have a season or not have a season, and that’s what’s at risk this weekend.”
Ben Wallace has been charged with drunken driving and unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon after a traffic stop, authorities in suburban Detroit say.
Bloomfield Township police said Thursday that the 37-year-old Wallace was arrested about 3 a.m. ET Saturday after officers observed a Cadillac Escalade being driven erratically. Police said they found an unloaded pistol in a backpack.
Officers say Wallace was given a blood-alcohol test and he was above Michigan’s legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Police declined to provide further details.
Dwyane Wade sees the Knicks as a growing threat in the Eastern Conference and believes they may be one key player away from becoming a serious contender.
“Every team over the years that has been successful has had three guys averaging at least 15 points or more,” Wade told The Daily News on Thursday. “They need a third guy but he doesn’t have to be the same caliber of Carmelo (Anthony) and Amar’e (Stoudemire).”
“They don’t need a superstar to be successful,” Wade added. “Teams have won without three superstars. They have two great players. They just need to continue to add pieces. What they need is other player that is consistent…but I don’t want to give them the recipe.”
The New Jersey Nets will be renamed the Brooklyn Nets when the NBA franchise moves across the state line and into a new arena next year, minority owner and rap star Jay-Z said on Monday.
The Nets, who have played in New Jersey since joining the NBA in 1976, are due to move into the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the 2012-2013 season. The arena is under construction.
“From the moment the Barclays Center became a reality, I knew this meant something significant for Brooklyn,” Brooklyn-born Jay-Z told a news conference.
Carmelo Anthony underwent surgery on his left knee, as well as a procedure on his elbow. Anthony said it was the first time in his life he has had surgery.
“I did both of them,” Anthony said about the surgery in May. “They were bothering me seven years.”
Anthony said the procedures came at the same time.
Anthony has been playing a barnstorming tour during the lockout and is four pounds lighter than he was during the 10-11 season.
“I would be coming back at training camp, if there is one, less than than I left last year,” Anthony said. ” I feel good mentally and physically. My mindset is about starting next week. That’s where my mindset is at and body is at. Games are fun for charity, but at the same time we want to get something out of it.”
The owners put forth a new number on the split of revenues, or basketball-related income, on Thursday, a step that could help propel the talks forward, according to a source.
“It’s moving,” said another person with knowledge of the talks.
“Not as fast as some people would want, but it’s moving.”
After signaling last week that the players’ offer to move lower than the 54.3 percent share of BRI was a starting point that could lead to a deal on economics, league negotiators came back with their own number. The union found the number “unacceptable” and both sides addressed the media with pessimissm.
The owners’ number, one of the people familiar with the details said, represented a willingness to move off their most recent formal proposal to cap player salaries at $2 billion a year for the bulk of a 10-year proposal.
Marcus Camby was arrested on Monday on a marijuana possession charge. Camby was initially pulled over for what police called an equipment violation.
Camby and another person inside, Kendal Johnson, were arrested and charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana in a drug-free zone because the arrest occurred near a school. Both were released on individual $2,000 bonds.
Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari rejoined his former Italian team Olimpia Milano on Tuesday, agreeing to play until the NBA lockout ends.
“I’m happy for the opportunity that Olimpia offered me to get back on the court with the team that I had some unforgettable experiences with,” the former Knicks forward said.
Olimpia’s new coach is Sergio Scariolo, who guided Spain to the European Championship title Sunday in Lithuania. Along with fellow NBA players Andrea Bargnani and Marco Belinelli, Gallinari was on the Italy squad that failed to advance to the second round.
The Denver Nuggets’ options could be limited if there is an NBA season.
Three of their free agents have decided to play in China — Kenyon Martin became the third on Wednesday — and two starters are taking their games to Europe.
And while Ty Lawson and Danilo Gallinari can return if there indeed is a 2011-12 season, Martin will not be able to leave his Chinese Basketball Association squad until the season ends in March.
J.R. Smith and Wilson Chandler have also elected to play in China, which will not allow NBA players to opt out of their one-year contracts should the lockout end.