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Kobe Bryant willing to loan players money if lockout lingers

Sep 19, 2011, 9:59 AM EDT

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It’s part of what is behind the NBA lockout dragging out to threaten actual games — there are owners that want to exert their ultimate leverage, the loss of paychecks. There are some owners that want to hurt the union, to break it. The theory goes that when the players start missing paychecks, they’ll cry uncle.

If it comes to that, the Bank of Kobe will be open.

Kobe Bryant has offered to loan players who need it money. That’s what NBA players union executive director Billy Hunter told the Los Angeles Times when asked how Kobe and LeBron James had been involved in the talks.

“They’ve been deeply involved in the meetings we’ve had. I know Kobe is intimately involved in interfacing with colleagues and sharing in a pool of revenue to help the others get through this. Kobe has volunteered to do that in the event others need, he and others are prepared to loan money if necessary.”

How’s that for stepping up, John Wall.

Interesting. Of course, we don’t know what the vig is and you better keep up on the payments. I could see his collection agents as being some scary dudes. They will be the size of Snoop Dogg’s body guards, but not as nice.

Not sure it’s really going to come to that, frankly. The whole “the players will break when they don’t get paid” idea is flawed in so many ways. Starting with the players wouldn’t get their first paycheck until Nov. 15, two weeks into the season, and if you wait that long to really negotiate we’re not seeing games until Christmas at best.

And the players are not going to crumble without a check. Not most of them. The players have known this lockout was coming for years. Most have money set aside. Plus they are all about to get a check for eight percent of their salary from last year back (part of an escrow fund set up as part of the last labor deal to make sure the players got exactly 57 percent of the league’s revenue; this year all the money is being returned to the players and then some).

And if all that fails, there’s the Bank of Kobe.

  1. edmazeing1 - Sep 19, 2011 at 10:08 AM

    I wanna see who takes Kobe up on that offer!!!

  2. Clayton Bigsby - Sep 19, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    ” Brother Kobe could you lend me some dough?”

    sincerely Shaq Fu.

  3. zblott - Sep 19, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    This is great to see. I hope the union or other stars can organize and trust each other enough to do this for players whose previous paychecks may make this a tough year to get through. I know guys making $500,000 a year on up don’t deserve to have safety nets like this, but it will keep “poorer” players from getting antsy from lack of savings and going public for demands that the union signs a less-than-desirable contract soon just so they can get paid right now. If the players can stay united and not let it come out that some are hurting financially, they take away the owners’ ability to simply wait it out and force the players to sign a bad deal when desperate.

  4. toosano - Sep 19, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    Let’s see what the interest rate is, lol!

  5. bahice - Sep 19, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    This is going to mainly benefit the rookies, the new draftees and the guys who are making league minimum. Kobe (along with whomever else is offering the same, I doubt Kobe is alone in this) are shoring up the more financially vulnerable members of the Union. It’s in everyone’s interest to keep the financial burden from influencing member votes. Solid move.

  6. deenice810 - Sep 19, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    Kobe what’s your phone number. I only need a million. I promise I’ll pay you back once I hit the lottery.

    • russgrant - Sep 20, 2011 at 12:23 PM

      Deenice, I’m not saying you’re a gold digger…

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