Morning Jolt: Bryant would listen to overseas offers

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Friday, July 8

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Bryant would listen to overseas offers

Landing Deron Williams, to be sure, is a major coup for Besiktas, one that has the club thinking even bigger: Kobe Bryant. Bryant is willing to listen to overseas offers, sources close to him told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday. Those could come out of Europe or the Far East, and, yes, even Istanbul, the gateway bridging Europe and Asia. It isn't lost on Besiktas that Bryant spent much of his youth living in Italy, that his marketing machine is strong in Europe where he's afforded an unparalleled popularity among basketball stars. The organization knows this too: Turkish Airlines, who signed Bryant to a global endorsement deal this year, might want to play a part in bringing the team and star together. (Yahoo! Sports)Comment

Finally, USC's most indispensable player

Is this Matt Barkley's year to make The Leap? It might seem obvious, even boring, to pick the starting quarterback as a team's most indispensable player. You could make that case for half the clubs in the NFL. But it took awhile for Barkley to reach this point. He is, in fact, debuting at No. 1, having not made the "most indispensable" list either of the previous two seasons. In 2009, Barkley wasn't supposed to start but ended up in that role after Aaron Corp got hurt. In 2010, Barkley had an experienced backup in Mitch Mustain, who seemed like a competent replacement (at least at the time). In 2011, the expectations surrounding Barkley have soared and the gap between him and his backups has widened. Barkley expects to be great this season. Lane Kiffin feels the same way. (The Orange County Register)Comment

Fox, 'deep down,' knows Broncos starter

So, is it Tebow time? John Fox maintained Thursday afternoon that the Broncos will have a "wide-open competition" at quarterback, but admitted, for the first time publicly, that "deep down, I have an idea" who will be No. 1 when the season starts. The coach is not telling me or you who it is. He did say: "I prefer a gamer to a good practice player. ... I want someone who will execute under pressure in a game." Truthfully, I couldn't figure out who Fox is favoring. According to neighbors, Orton has moved out of the house he was renting in Cherry Creek Country Club (it has been sold to someone else). Tebow rents a house with family members in a south suburban development. I don't know where Quinn lives. ... [Fox] pointed out: "We do have a depth chart." (The Denver Post)Comment

Must-See Photo

Sorry Germany! Small Paul makes his prediction about which team will win tomorrow's quarterfinal match of the Women?s Soccer World Cup between Germany and Japan. (Martin Meissner/AP)

Must-See Video

One year ago, Lebron James announced he was taking his talents to South Beach.

Game To Watch

Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m., ET

  1. Tampa Bay Rays
  2. New York Yankees

SI Vault: Venus Williams

This Day in Sports

  • 2000 --Venus Williams beats Lindsay Davenport in the Wimbledon Women's Finals.
  • 1982 -- Manager Billy Martin records his 1,000th career win.
  • 1947 -- The AL prevails in the 14th All Star Baseball Game at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
  • 1909 -- Baseball's first pro game (minor league) under the lights is played.