Italian league arranging deal for Bryant signing

By the Associated Press | October 1, 2011 | 1:15 PM EDT

U.S. basketball star Kobe Bryant gestures during a sponsor's appearance in Milan, Italy, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011. Kobe Bryant said it's "very possible" he will play in Italy during the NBA lockout, adding the country is like home because he spent part of his childhood there. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

ROME (AP) — The Italian basketball league is attempting to solve scheduling problems so Virtus Bologna can sign Kobe Bryant during the NBA lockout.

Virtus Bologna President Claudio Sabatini has told The Associated Press he's "very confident" he can sign the Los Angeles Lakers star.

The 10-game contract is worth more than $3 million but hinges on other clubs changing their schedules to ensure Bologna has five home games during the span.

Bologna also wants its opening five road games in Italy's biggest arenas. Smaller clubs Cremona and Varese are reluctant to alter their schedules.

The league says it's "working to allow Virtus Bologna to arrange a deal to sign Kobe Bryant." It adds that the signing "could be of key importance for the greater awareness of Italian basketball."