According to one of his teammates, Kobe Bryant recently threatened, "I'll play in Europe" when they were discussing the potential of an NBA lockout this summer and the ramifications of a new collective bargaining agreement.
"Kobe understands what the players before him did and he feels a responsibility to do the same to the younger guys," said the teammate, who did not want to be identified.
The idea of Kobe finishing his career overseas has some players intrigued.
"If he goes to play in Italy I will go with him," joked Danilo Gallinari, New York's Italian-born forward.
Bryant spent part of his childhood in Italy, where his father, Joe Bryant, played professional basketball.