Kobe Bryant shoots down the Besik-talks, but not of playing overseas

Short of the proverbial offer he can't refuse -- huge money version, as opposed to something from The Godfather -- for Kobe Bryant to suit up for Besiktas in Turkey, not exactly the most esteemed of European clubs, seemed a long shot. Still, talk persisted, fueled in part by Kobe's connections to Turkish Airlines and reports of a meeting scheduled for Saturday afternoon between Bryant, his representatives, and folks from Besiktas. But as Dan Feldman reports for ESPNLA.com, Kobe says he "hasn't spoken to Besiktas in weeks."

Doesn't sound like that meeting was very productive.

Though it appears Kobe won't be teaming with Deron Williams in what I have to assume would be the best backcourt tandem in that team's history, as it pertains generally to playing overseas he remains amenable. "I'm just waiting for my phone to ring," Bryant said. "I'll play anywhere."

(I recommend testing the theory by inviting him to your pickup game.)

So while the Besiktas angle appears dead, expect Kobe-to-______ rumors to persist through the summer and into the fall, particularly if it appears the lockout will extend into the NBA season and the financing to pay what I'm sure would be a hefty salary appears solid.