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Cuban playfully suggests maybe Lakers should amnesty Kobe

Feb 22, 2013, 5:45 PM EDT

Mark Cuban AP

Is there anything Mark Cuban enjoys more than tweaking the Lakers (and their fans)?

Nope. Nothing comes to mind.

Last year Cuban was proactive in cutting back the Mavericks salary, freeing up cap room for him to go after a big free agent to pair with Dirk Nowitzki. Hasn’t really worked out yet, but what he has done and it is what a lot of teams were doing at the deadline and will do next summer. The stiffer luxury tax and restrictions that kick in this summer have teams worried.

The Lakers already have $79 million in salary committed for next season and that is without a new max deal for Dwight Howard on the books. This season the Lakers are just shy of $100 million in payroll — by far the most in the league — and next year likely will be about the same.

Cuban just wants to help. From ESPNDallas.com.

“If you look at their payroll, even if Dwight (Howard) comes back, you’ve got to ask the question: Should they amnesty Kobe?” Cuban said during an appearance on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s “Ben and Skin Show.”

Right. That’s going to happen.

So Cuban, would you amnesty Dirk Nowitzki?

“It’s the same reason I wouldn’t get rid of Dirk. I’ll take a hit for a season rather than get rid of Dirk. That’s just it. I’ve made that commitment to him over the years and he’s returned that commitment. Maybe that’s selfish, but that’s just the way it is.

“So I’m just saying that hypothetically. When I say amnesty Kobe, I don’t think they’d do it, but they’ve got some choices to make. Now, they’re in a big market, but they’re still limited. The Knicks, the same thing. Boston, same thing.”

He’s right there. The entire goal of the new CBA was to rein in those biggest spending teams that flaunted the old luxury tax (a club that used to include Cuban) and it will work. If the Lakers have a $100 payroll they will have a tax bill of about $85 million. Throw in the likely $50 million in revenue sharing they likely have to shell out and it ads up to $235 million for one season in just payroll and revenue sharing.

There’s a reason that Steve Nash is the only guy on the Lakers books for 2014 as of right now. They see the math and know they have to get their payroll down eventually. If Kobe Bryant wants to play beyond the years on his contract he will certainly take the Tim Duncan/Kevin Garnett veteran discount to help the team. The Lakers know they need to get the payroll numbers down.

Just not by amnestying Kobe.

  1. cantonbound13 - Feb 22, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Cuban’s great. The best was when he and hundreds of Mavs fans partied in South Beach after they beat the Heat.

  2. conjecture101 - Feb 22, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Mark Cuban is delusional. He gets credit for Erik Spoelstra’s incompetence and then he gets zero criticism for the current state of the team. He whiffed on Howard and Williams, and now he’s trying to throw jabs at legends to keep his name relevant.

    • tibbs7 - Feb 23, 2013 at 8:46 AM

      The whiff on Howard and Williams doesn’t look so bad now.

  3. BigBeachBall - Feb 22, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    A haikoo

    won a title, then
    lit a stick of dynamite….
    More annoying now

    • kcar28 - Feb 22, 2013 at 8:09 PM

      A haiku

      Championship ring
      I’m worth a billion dollars
      How does my Dirk taste?

      -Cubes

      • 00maltliquor - Feb 23, 2013 at 2:43 AM

        OMFG LMAO!!!

        Post of the day^

      • dko83 - Feb 23, 2013 at 5:13 AM

        I salute you sir.

  4. doublezero74 - Feb 22, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    He’s right though. Day of reckoning is coming. Too bad lakers can’t point to great season for justifying spending so much. I hate purple and gold

    • cosanostra71 - Feb 22, 2013 at 8:11 PM

      cool story bro

  5. flyrocket31 - Feb 22, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    Kobe’s salary is ridiculous. you think he would have planned ahead for the team years ago and taken 15-18mill a year atleast

    • jimeejohnson - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:14 PM

      Not a Laker fan. Not a Laker hater. Kobe has won as many championships as any active player, and was a key to those championships. He earned every penny he has made, the hard way. For all the shots he has missed there are many, many clutch baskets, just like the one and only MJ.

  6. yousuxxors - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    i know hes a douche but at least he cares right? he just wants to win and understands winning will vring the money. look at the lakers. the knicks are the only team that can go through an isiah era and still make money. seems like a goos guy to work for. d-will should of teamed with dirk not iso joe. ratger have him than a penny pincher.

  7. bucrightoff - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    Honestly its an intriguing idea. If you come back with Dwight and all them are you good enough to win it all? Pau will probably gone, but what is he gonna fetch at this point? Probably not much, so maybe you amnesty him…but then what? Still not good enough to win it all. If the Lakers look at it realistically and see they can win, amnestying Kobe makes the most sense since it saves a ton, ensures you keep Dwight, and you can trade Pau for nothing because you’re rebuilding. And then dare to dream for LeBron in 2014.

    But the Lakers don’t care about a rebuild, they can sell the building out with Kobe, so he’s probably still worth enough to them that there’s no way they’d do it.

  8. fiyeaglesfiy - Feb 23, 2013 at 8:10 AM

    That’s just an ignorant comment by Mark Cuban, Lakers would never do this. Kobe’s value from a marketing perspective alone generates far more revenues for the team than his salary plus the tax they pay on it, not to mention he’s still playing at an all-star level. Poor attempt by Cuban to make a Phil Jackson-like public statement to get under the skin of the Lakers.

  9. sunlightpianist - Feb 23, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    If you read his words correctly, Cuban talks about the limitations of the new CBA, about not being able to make any significant roster-move, not about the value of Kobe. He gives a question “should they?”, but in the answer he says, he himself would never cut the 23 Mio he has to pay for Nowitzki next season. So he doesn’t propose the Lakers should amnesty Kobe.

  10. tibbs7 - Feb 23, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Reblogged this on katjammer.

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