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.
“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?