Kobe Bryant on extension: ‘This wasn’t a negotiation’

Oct 30, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) behind the bench against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 125-94. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Go ahead and call Kobe Bryant greedy, but according to him, that simply isn’t the case.

Kobe signed a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension on Monday morning.

[YAHOO!]

“This was easy,” Bryant told Yahoo Sports on Monday night. “This wasn’t a negotiation. The Lakers made their offer with cap and building a great team in mind while still taking care of me as a player.

“I simply agreed to the offer.”

Until the hours before the Lakers’ meeting with the Washington Wizards on Tuesday, that’s all Bryant would say about the contract extension. He is 35 years old, working his way back from a torn Achilles and the Buss family is still betting Bryant is the best free-agent star available on the market, betting that Bryant can still drive ticket sales and TV ratings and make these Lakers relevant again.

With Bryant’s deal – which will pay him $23.5 million and $25 million in 2015 and ’16, respectively – the Lakers have room to recruit a max player this summer, and only Bryant’s contract is still on the books for the summer of 2016.

Would have I liked Kobe to take less money to save cap room for the front office to build a decent team around him, so that he could have a shot at Championship No. 6? Sure.

Did I expect him to do it? No. That’s just not him.

Kobe says that the Lakers simply offered the deal that he signed and he didn’t “negotiate”. OK. I guess we have to take him at his word, right?

 

Topics: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

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  • Rigged4fun

    Look Kobe brings fans into Staples. While yes his contract actually handicaps the Lakers in obtaining max contracts, the Laker managment has stated they want to cut their salaries to get under accelerated tax rates. So by keeping Kobe they will maintain their fan attendance, while accomplishing their financial goals. With the possibility of letting Nash go, and brining back Pau at a reduced contract, they can keep someone like Jordan Hill who will command a higher level contract and still be under cap levels. At the same time it has been reported that Kobe will become the franchise face and sell free agents to come to the Lakers.