Basketball fans in Italy will now pray to delay the NBA Lockout as long as possible so they can see the performance of Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant.

Kobe Bryant reached a verbal agreement of $3 million with Italian club Virtus Bologna to play for the opening 40 days of the Italian League.

We have reached an economic deal, Virtus president Claudio Sabatini told a local radio station. There's still some things to arrange but at this point I'm very optimistic. I would say it's 95 percent done.

The son of a former Philadelphia 76ers forward, Kobe lived Reggio Emilia of Italy for much of his childhood in Italy. He also speaks fluent Italian.

Kobe is the NBA's highest earning player with a salary of $24.8 million. He is the youngest NBA player to score 27,000 points, and the only player in NBA history to score at least 600 points in the postseason for three consecutive years.