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Kobe Bryant Still Considering Playing Abroad

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KOBE BRYANT PLAYING ABROAD
AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

SINGAPORE -- Kobe Bryant said that he's still considering playing overseas because an owners' lockout of players threatens to sabotage the upcoming NBA season.

The Los Angeles Lakers superstar told The Associated Press on the sidelines of a youth basketball clinic in Singapore that he didn't know if there will be a 2011-12 season and hasn't ruled out playing abroad.

"I could," Bryant said Saturday. "I'm playing abroad right now."

Bryant said he may join informal workouts with Lakers teammates in the future, but that no such sessions have been scheduled yet.

Turkish club Besiktas said in July it was in talks with Bryant's representatives about possibly playing for the team. At least one team in China has also expressed interest in the 33-year-old Bryant, who has won five NBA championships and been an All-Star 13 times.

Meanwhile, other NBA players are committing to playing next season in leagues outside the U.S.

Denver Nuggets free agents Wilson Chandler and J.R. Smith plan to play in China, Denver's Ty Lawson will play in Lithuania and New Jersey Nets All-Star Deron Williams signed with Turkey's Besiktas.

The NBA season usually begins in late October but owners and players have so far failed to agree on a new labor deal. The two sides are at loggerheads over how to divide the league's revenue, a salary cap structure and the length of guaranteed contracts, and have made no significant progress in talks to end the lockout.

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