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Friday, October 24, 2014

Kobe Bryant defends himself for signing huge contract

Kobe BryantKobe Bryant on Tuesday responded to those who criticize him for taking so much money from the Los Angeles Lakers in the final years of his career instead of accepting a salary more commensurate with his declining ability.

On Monday, Kobe signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him with the Lakers through the 2015-2016 season. The contract is believed to be worth $48 million and will make him the highest-paid player in the league the next few seasons even though he won’t be the best player in the league. His salary will also make it difficult for the team to surround him with top-level talent.

Many have wondered why Kobe doesn’t sign for less money to make it easier for the team to build around him and pursue championships. In response, Kobe blamed the billionaire owners for imposing a salary cap:

Kobe’s point? If the owners weren’t trying to protect themselves, they wouldn’t have this problem. But he’s also not looking at the big picture here. Though he plays for the Lakers who are making big bucks, many franchises are not pulling in big revenues. It’s better for the overall health of the league to have a salary cap.

One of Kobe’s most notable critics was ESPN’s Bill Simmons, who said Kobe “killed the Lakers” by taking “double what his market value” is. Many feel the same way.

But the thing about Kobe is that he sees basketball as a business and takes whatever money he can get. He never has had problems taking the Lakers for as much as he can because he feels like he deserves the money and that it’s not his responsibility to fill out the rest of the roster.

Kobe was probably underpaid compared to his real value most of his career, and now he’s extremely overpaid. It will cost the Lakers a chance to really compete, but he doesn’t have remorse for that. It’s a selfish, business-like approach that Lakers fans can’t complain about.



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