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Kobe Bryant signs three-year extension with Lakers

Apr 2, 2010, 6:15 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for Bryant_game2.jpgUPDATE 6:15 pm: We have some estimated salary figures now, via FanHouse, and Kobe will join Michael Jordan as the only other NBA player to make $30 million in a season.

Bryant is expected to make $24.8 million next season (part of his current deal), then $26 million in 11-12, $28.7 million in 12-13 and $31.5 million in 13-14.

He can probably live on that.

4:30 pm: The Lakers championship window is now officially open through 2014. That groan you just heard was general managers and fans in 29 other cities.

Completing negotiations that had been going on since before the season started, Kobe Bryant has signed a three-year extension on to his deal (which had one year left after this one, although he had an opt-out option). He will be a Laker until the summer of 2014 now.

“We are extremely pleased that we were able to reach an agreement and come to terms on the extension at this time,” said (Lakers General Manager Mitch) Kupchak said in a released statement. “Kobe has been a cornerstone of the Lakers for well over a decade, helping to lead us to four NBA Championships and in the process developing into one of the greatest players in basketball history.”

“Two of our main goals heading into this season were to sign Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol to contract extensions,” continued Kupchak. “With the signing of Pau earlier this season and the signing of Kobe today, we were able to accomplish those goals, helping to keep the core of this team intact for the foreseeable future and in turn help to ensure the franchise’s continued success over the years to come.”

Bryant’s deal could be worth $90 million, and he is one of the few players in the NBA worth that salary to owners. Bryant fills arenas, from the top of the cheap seats to the luxury suites. The Lakers charge higher ticket prices than any other team in the NBA, and they sell out nightly — even for the Wizards. Because people will pay to see Kobe play.

The fact Bryant signed with the Lakers is not a surprise (although he could have made more money opting out and resigning), but the timing was a bit odd. Sources say that basically the same offer has been on the table since October. Bryant had a lot of things to weigh, from whether the Lakers would stay in contention to the upcoming new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Bryant makes $23 million in salary this year, will make $24.8 next year. This very likely locks him in at at a similar max salary into the new CBA (the owners said they want existing contracts changed to conform with the new CBA, but I have a better shot with Brooklyn Decker than there is of the players union agreeing to that). The Lakers also have Gasol and Artest under contract until 2014, with Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom through 2013. The Lakers have locked up their core.

It also locks the Lakers in as title contenders for four more seasons.

  1. HILL - Apr 2, 2010 at 5:42 PM

    Now what is going on with PHIL??? It would be “REAL NICE” if Phil is willing to stay as well……………Can we do it??? I say YES WE CAN!!!!

  2. mason shallow - Apr 2, 2010 at 6:38 PM

    KOBE you r the man and lebron is nothing compared to you

  3. BUNGIE BOOM-BOOMZ in your HEE-HAW - Apr 2, 2010 at 6:50 PM

    Can’t we trade Kobe for Lebron?

  4. kobeisgettingold - Apr 2, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    Kobe,at over 30 years old, is soon to be over the hill, so why not get some bargaining out of him and get a much younger Lebron instead?

  5. Vincent - Apr 2, 2010 at 7:34 PM

    Tell me about it…With KB over 30 years f age an J.Buss a business man…I wouldve signed LeBron instead of KB…Loyalty doesnt exist in sports anymore..LeBron is surely money in the bank and has a huge future ahead of him..Thing is,Coach Jackson likes LeBron…But hey,Some Laker fans wouldnt like the idea…some will…some arent even sure what could happen..but a whole new laker frontrunning fanbase would emerge outta nowhere..
    But the bottomline is “THATS NOT HAPPENING”…tHE STRUGGLE IS THE GLORY

  6. kobelover - Apr 2, 2010 at 7:39 PM

    this is the best news in sports since i saw these flasher girls http://bit.ly/sportsknockers

  7. Chuck - Apr 2, 2010 at 8:07 PM

    I agree with Mason – Lebron is NO match for Kobe.

  8. kelly - Apr 2, 2010 at 8:30 PM

    easy answer knucklehead, lebron is a cavalier, not a laker and never will be, california sucks and always has, as for the lakers, the fame is gone, so is the thrill
    go cavs

  9. SoCal - Apr 2, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    I’m not even going to deal with the first part of your comment…but I love how you make severe and drastic claims about the CA and the Lakers, but there is no substance or justification, just mindless lady spew, and as for the fame – Pretty sure we’re the World Champs…FAME sweetie

  10. Anonymous - Apr 2, 2010 at 9:13 PM

    kobe is da best from lebron

  11. TL - Apr 2, 2010 at 9:16 PM

    kelly…I agree with you on Lebron being a Cav for life, but will Lebron agree is the question. Let’s face it, last year the Cavs were supposedly the top team only to flake out to Orlando. Lebron definitely needs better pieces around him. I’m not sold on who he is playing with now. Also, you say California sucks, that’s hilarious considering Cleveland is a huge dump. All the city has are the Cavs. Better pray Lebron stays!!!

  12. C33 - Apr 2, 2010 at 9:43 PM

    How can you say Kobe is better than LeBron seeing that LeBron is going to shatter all of kobes scoring records by thousands. LeBron is much more accomplished at his age compared to kobe at that age.
    I dont see Kobe leading the NBA in scoring. Plus Kobe is such a immature whiny baby.

  13. mike - Apr 2, 2010 at 11:35 PM

    Kurt..It would be nice to know how old kobe is to sign this contract. Didn’t it dawn on you that it would be a basic question any reader of this article would want to know. ….How old is he??

  14. Yogottiboy - Apr 2, 2010 at 11:39 PM

    D . U . R . A . N . T. ! ! !

  15. Anonymous - Apr 3, 2010 at 1:18 AM

    Try Googling the terms: Kobe Bryant birth date Duh.

  16. Foul Dwimmerlaik - Apr 3, 2010 at 1:49 AM

    Amen to that, bro and end it with multiple exclamation points!
    You hit it in the nail. I doubt it if LeBron could even accomplish a three-peat. Now Laker/Kobe haters out there, before you start spewing your snot-laced drivel about Kobe getting no rings without Shaq, let me enlighten your feeble minds: Shaq and Kobe were playing ringless for three years till Jackson arrived in ’99. Point is, Kobe, Shaq, and Jackson couldn’t have done it without the collective effort of the whole team. Remember Bigshot Rob and D-Fish’s dagger buzzer beaters in the playoffs?
    When Kobe gets another set of rings, he wouldn’t have done it again without his mates — and vice-versa — neither would they.

  17. trebor sotnas - Apr 9, 2010 at 3:31 PM

    it’s very simple. those of you who thinks that lebron is better than kobe, think first a million times. when LBJ start winning NBA championship back2back2back then you can start making comparison but ’till then all of you need to shut that whole in your month because you’re LBJ is not proving anything yet

  18. Rolando - Apr 12, 2010 at 11:56 PM

    I agree with you Mason Kobe’s the best

  19. allan - Apr 16, 2010 at 5:48 AM

    Yes.. i agree with Trebor… there’s is no point of comparing Lebron with Kobe until Lebron wins his 1st champioship ring.. Kobe already had four –thanks to Shaq, teaming with Kobe in winning 3 of those 4 rings—, while Lebron miserably failed on his first–being swept by Tim and the Spurs, and also was a flop when he and the Cavs lost 4-2 to Magic last season, despite being the top seed. Lebron maybe younger, but needs to learn more–sharing the ball to his teamates is one, and we’re seeing that this season— but Kobe is a lot wiser… It maybe a blockbuster seeing their teams fight it out in the NBA finals… But i would like to see Howard and his Magic squad —if Boston failed to win the Eastern Conference crown— fight it out against Dallas or Denver or Suns. But i think the NBA wouldn’t want any of those match-ups… I guess the NBA wants a Kobe-Lebron duel or for sentimental NBA fans, a Celtics-Lakers finals rematch.

  20. allan - Apr 16, 2010 at 6:07 AM

    By the way, am no Lebron or Kobe fan, but an ordinary NBA follower, hoping to watch great basketball games all the times. Hopefully, some people will come to know that basketball is also played this side of the world –Philippines—- with the PBA, or the Philippine Basketball Association leading the showcase, followed by other minor leagues and collegiate basketball games of UAAP and NCAA—much like the NCAA wars in the USA— For the uninitiated, PBA was founded in 1975 and still lording it over…

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