LA Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant says Turkish league is second best to NBA
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant heaps praise on the Turkish Basketball League. Bryant is a brand ambassador for Turkey’s national carrier, Turkish Airlines.Superstar Kobe Bryant said yesterday that the Turkish league could be the only other option if he chose to play outside the U.S. National Basketball Association (NBA).
“The Turkish League is the best league in Europe and it’s going be that way for a long time,” the Los Angeles Lakers guard told a press conference in Istanbul.
Bryant was linked with a transfer move to Beşiktaş last year and confirmed today that a Turkish club approached him during the NBA lockout. “There were some talks but it did not go any further,” he said.
Bryant, a brand ambassador for Turkish Airlines, said he was “happy to be here for the second time.”
In his first visit last year, Bryant attended a training session with Istanbul club Galatasaray, who went on to win the Turkish football league.
“I am happy that Galatasaray won,” Bryant said. “They were good.”
The 34-year-old basketball star came to Istanbul to shoot a commercial video with Barcelona’s superstar forward, Lionel Messi.
Five-time NBA title winning player said he did not have many details about the content of the spot.
“Probably Messi will play football and I will play basketball,” Bryant said. “It would be fun if I spent one week with Barcelona and Messi played one week with the Lakers!”
Turkish Airlines has also announced that it has extended its sponsorship contract with Bryant for a further two years. Turkey’s flagship carrier also has high-profile deals with Barcelona and Manchester United football clubs and will sponsor next month’s World Golf Finals in Belek, Antalya.