Kobe Bryant is yet to return to the basketball court since his Achilles’ tear back in April. Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Lakers put a juicy two-year extension on the table, which Bryant wasted no time signing. While most fans are happy that Kobe has committed to playing for two more years after this season, he also received some criticism.
Despite being 35 and coming off a gruesome injury, Bryant will remain the best-paid player in the league. Naturally, a lot of Lakers fans worried that Bryant’s huge contract would inhibit the team’s activity in next summer’s free agency, but Bryant is having none of that talk according to Yahoo.
“Most of us have aspirations for being businessmen when our playing careers are over,” Bryant told Yahoo Sports in a corridor of the Verizon Center. “But that starts now. You have to be able to wear both hats. You can’t sit up there and say, ‘Well, I’m going to take substantially less because there’s public pressure, because all of a sudden, if you don’t take less, you don’t give a crap about winning. That’s total bull—-.
“I’m very fortunate to be with an organization that understands how to take care of its players, and put a great team out on the floor. They’ve figured out how to do both.
“Most players in this league don’t have that. They get stuck in a predicament – probably intentionally done by the teams – to force them to take less money. Meanwhile, the value of the organization goes through the roof off the backs of their quote, unquote selfless players.
“It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”
Bryant has a point. While having him take a substantial pay cut would certainly have helped the Lakers in free agency, he saw the figures on the paper and put down his signature. According to Kobe, there weren’t even any negotiations — the Lakers wanted to take care of their loyal superstar and did just that.