Bryant's potential Italy deal faces scheduling problem

A scheduling conflict has created problems in a plan by Italian basketball club Virtus Bologna to sign star Kobe Bryant.

Claudio Sabatini, the club's president, had told an Italian radio station that the team reached an agreement with Bryant and said the deal was 95 percent done. The deal would have Bryant play with the team for 40 days, or 10 games.

But a statement on Virtus' site said some other teams within the league objected to a proposed schedule shift, putting the potential signing in jeopardy.

According to basketball news website Sportando, Virtus wanted to maximize Bryant's potential stay by playing games against the best teams and in the largest arena. However, the report said Legabasket rejected the proposal after other teams refused the request.

Were he to sign with Virtus, Bryant would be the biggest NBA star to ink a contract with a foreign team during the lockout, which began July 1.