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Kobe Bryant responds to Mark Cuban’s amnesty suggestion in epic fashion

Feb 24, 2013, 9:30 PM EDT

kobe mark cuban

A couple of days ago, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban suggested in a radio interview that maybe it was time for the Lakers to consider amnestying Kobe Bryant, given the team’s current position out of the playoff picture and the astronomical payroll and luxury tax bill the franchise would be looking at next season.

Cuban has clarified a couple of times since then that he was speaking hypothetically of course, but make no mistake — his comments were meant to tweak the Lakers, and it worked on multiple levels.

The Lakers issued a statement through their team spokesman in response to Cuban’s comments, which means that Cuban’s mission was accomplished — at least in terms of his remarks reaching people in the organization who matter, and annoying them in the process.

Where this all backfired, however, was Sunday afternoon at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Bryant put in a vintage performance, scoring 38 points including 14 in the fourth quarter to send Cuban’s Mavericks home with a loss. After it was all over, Bryant took to Twitter to eviscerate Cuban with two simple words.

Bryant has always been criticized on the court for his lack of efficiency, but it’s hard to argue that he did anything other than use this medium to perfection in delivering an epic response.

  1. sun602 - Feb 24, 2013 at 9:35 PM


  2. Mr. Wright 212 - Feb 24, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    Vintage 24 today. Shame I missed almost all of it SMH. Lakeshow are scary to the Atlanta Braves.. I mean Spurs in the 1st Round if it comes to that.

    • loungefly74 - Feb 25, 2013 at 8:51 AM

      ha! love the Braves reference. a tad harsh but funny.

  3. funktron2x - Feb 24, 2013 at 9:37 PM

    Sailed right over kobe’s head. Mark was suggesting that if Kobe were amnestied, Cuban would swoop in and sign him, nit that his level of play had declined. Derp

    • teambringitstrong - Feb 25, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      Maybe you’re the derp and it went over YOUR head.

  4. psung26 - Feb 24, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    “Epic” perhaps wasn’t the best choice of word for this title….

  5. jessethegreat - Feb 24, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    Simply vintage Kobe. Not a player in the game with more drive than this guy. Love how he does his talking on the court here.

    Cuban possibly awoke a sleeping monster. Think about it… Instead of Kobe and Dwight hating each other, they can focus on hating someone else and work together.

    Reminds me of growing up having the mindset of “no one picks on my little brother but me”.

    • borderline1988 - Feb 25, 2013 at 6:05 PM

      ‘Cuban possibly awoke a sleeping monster’

      Wow maybe you need to get a room with Kobe. You’re imagining him as some sort of mythical god.
      He’s just a volume scorer who had a great game. His stats (and scoring efficiency) will revert to the mean, just like it has his entire career. In fact, Kobe has never really had sustained variances in his scoring efficiency. So I wouldn’t bet on Kobe suddenly averaging close to triple double numbers and then leading the Lakers into the playoffs.
      If the Lakers are to get into the playoffs, DH needs to play like he did in Orlando. That’s the only recipe for success.

      If Kobe could channel this sort of inner-intensity and have games like that at will, don’t you think he’d actually do it every night? Did you ever think to wonder about that?

  6. justwannawinna - Feb 24, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    Ya no Kobe being a ball hog is gonna keep this team from the finals. Phil used to force Kobe to pass by setting up easy highlight passes Kobe loves in his offense to keep Kobe passing after Shaq left. Dwight needs to be in the post and pass out of it like he did in Orlando and Kobe has to learn hes no Jordan and accept his role in that offense as the secondary man. Then they can maybe make the finals. And if Nash gets back on it could work to be deald but only if Kobe can suck up his ego and be a team player.

  7. ultichiva - Feb 24, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    Kobe got mad &’the refs helped the Lakas wiiiin.

    • ron05342 - Feb 24, 2013 at 10:44 PM

      You are clearly a moron with an IQ less than the characters in your nick.

      That equals 9, knuckle-brain.

  8. namaths5thofwhiskey - Feb 24, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    That ether.

  9. stinkfingers - Feb 24, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    Nice work Kobe…. You left no doubt who the 9th best team in the Western Conference is.

    • ron05342 - Feb 24, 2013 at 10:45 PM

      Get your fingers out of your azz so you can count what they have done the last three weeks.

      11-4. Not a bad run. Now, does it mean they will be able to overtake Houston? Perhaps not. But better late than never to get it together.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Feb 25, 2013 at 8:41 AM

        Is that supposed to eb suggesting they’re NOT the 9th best team in the west? Because they’ve played a lot fo ga,es at this point and that’s exactly where they are.

  10. diehardcubbiefan4life - Feb 24, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    Never get kobe angry. You wont like him when he’s angry…

  11. tuberippin - Feb 24, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    Is Kobe scoring 38 to beat the Mavs supposed to justify the fact that he’s going to make more than $30,000,000 next season?

    • ron05342 - Feb 24, 2013 at 10:46 PM

      Not sure.

      Does it bother you that you won’t be making 1/20,000 of that cleaning out the toilets at the middle school you are employed at?

      • broncobeta - Feb 24, 2013 at 11:29 PM

        Don’t be so harsh to your co-workers.

  12. tampajoey - Feb 24, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    I love Kobe. We both like banging slutty white chicks.

  13. norcaldeportes - Feb 24, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    I agree with Cuban on this one. $30.5M next year for a guy who can’t carry a team deep into the playoffs is too much. Sure he had a good game today. But it’s not like the Mavs are any good this year.

    • lakerdownunder - Feb 24, 2013 at 11:21 PM

      It has nothing to do with going deep into the playoffs or Mark Cuban or anything else except Kobe’s global appeal (which is unparalleled) and his ability to drive revenue for the Laker organisation (and his other sponsors). In fact you could make a good argument that his haters drive as much interest in him and his supporters.

      Interest = exposure = revenue.

      • rnieto0824 - Feb 25, 2013 at 1:35 AM


      • borderline1988 - Feb 25, 2013 at 6:23 PM

        Thank you lakerdownunder….can’t believe people dont understand this.

        That being said, as a player Kobe is worth no where near $30 million.

    • aboogy123456 - Feb 25, 2013 at 8:27 AM

      You and the people who gave you a thumbs up don’t understand basketball or money. Basketball aside (since you don’t watch it), Kobe is generating much more than $30 million a year plua his tax penalty for this Lakers.

      • savvybynature - Feb 25, 2013 at 11:02 AM

        The Lakers could be paying a penalty up to $85 million. Added to his salary and that is more than $115 million. That’s a heck of a lot of Kobe jerseys they need to sell.

      • aboogy123456 - Feb 25, 2013 at 11:22 AM

        $115 million is a lot for you’re non Savvy self, but for the lakers it’s not that much. Kobe himself probably brings in $115 million to the lakers. Their TV contract is for $150 million and that does not include all the other sources of revenue. It bothers me how people just say things like amnesty kobe but don’t analyze the situation at all. Maybe they should get rid of Dwight and pau because they get paid alot, good business decision right?

  14. kb2408 - Feb 24, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    Translation: Hey Cube, tell me how my arse taste?! Moron. Just goes to show its possible to be brilliant at making money but still lack common sense. Why make a comment like that right before a legendary player comes to town? Especially a player like Bryant who feeds off of criticism. Moron.

  15. kb2408 - Feb 24, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    the Lakers have made way more money off of Kobe than what they have paid him. If anyone in the NBA deserves that type of money for one season, it is him. In case you haven’t heard, basketball is a TEAM sport. One man can’t carry a team. Especially if that man is in his 17th season. You haters act like you’re the ones signing the check. The Lakers have been the best franchise in professional sports for three decades, if they didn’t think Kobe was worth the money they’re paying him they would’ve traded him by now. Just like they traded Shaq. Some of you guys let your biases get in the way of common sense.

  16. pistolpete0903 - Feb 24, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Good performance by Kobe. Was great to see him and Dirk playing like the superstars they are.
    Having said , the refs surely helped the Lakers (what was the f’ing T on OJ Mayo?)
    Not a conspiracy theorist, but can’t rule out the NBA wanting (and pushing) the Lakers in the playoffs.

    • tsi431 - Feb 25, 2013 at 7:09 AM

      The “T” on Mayo was for, acting like a 10 year old who didn’t get a toy from his cereal box, after Mayo fouled Bryant on his shoulder.

      • savvybynature - Feb 25, 2013 at 11:06 AM

        So it was a BS technical then? You seem to have no idea what it was actually for, going instead for a non sequitur about how your children act at the breakfast table, so I can only assume it was a BS technical.

    • aboogy123456 - Feb 25, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      I’m a lakers fan and I think the NBA does try to manipulate games and seasons to a certain point, but I haven’t seen the lakers getting the calls that you’re seeing. In fact, it seems more like they have been getting bad calls against them every game, like against the clippers last week for example, or the heat a few games ago.

      The mayo Tech was horrible, but the refs in general were bad yesterday. Dwight only played half the game and had to play passive the other half of the game because of his foul trouble, and those were bad.

  17. rodericksilva - Feb 24, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    KOBE = B.O.A.T. – Best Of All Time. The $30M is not for next year dummies…it’s for a lifetime Laker achievement. 5 rings and counting.

  18. addict2sport - Feb 24, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    Is funny to see all these people slamming Kobe and the Lakers for this contract while they fail to realize it was done under the previous CBA.

    • savvybynature - Feb 25, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      Who doesn’t realize that? You think Cuban doesn’t realize that?
      The fact is, the league is now under the new CBA and that is the reality teams have to deal with. Whether Kobe signed this contract in 1962 or last week seems irrelevant to the conversation at hand.

  19. rodericksilva - Feb 24, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    Only the second time in his 16 year career that they MIGHT not make the playoffs. Give the master a break. Not even Jordan had a run like that.

  20. ghelton03 - Feb 25, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    Kobe $30M, Lebron $16M next year. Really?

    • rnieto0824 - Feb 25, 2013 at 1:41 AM

      Come on man!!
      The difference between KOBE & Lebron is that Kobe is a franchise player and is going to retire a laker
      Lebron took the easy train and went to Miami cause he was afraid to be a “super star” failure all by himself,when he played for Cleveland.. 5 rings is better than 1 any day. It won’t be lebrons league until the true king retires…

      • Kurt Helin - Feb 26, 2013 at 7:09 PM

        You’re right. Kobe did it all himself and never had help…. oh, yea.

    • tsi431 - Feb 25, 2013 at 7:11 AM

      Kobe 5 rings, Lebron 1. Sounds fair to me. If you think Lebron signed a contract for what he was worth you are an idiot. He knowingly took less money to attract more FA’s.

  21. rodge1 - Feb 25, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    Kobe deserves that money and it shouldn’t matter that he’s holding the team back because of his respective contract. He is a fierce competitor and should make triple what he’s making even if it means the Lakers can only afford a team of D-League guys around him. Only a player as great as Kobe deserves to be paid more as his skills decline.

    • aboogy123456 - Feb 25, 2013 at 8:31 AM

      Ok clown, what do you suggest? Let’s say Kobe was getting half his salary, $15 million per year. Do you know how many more players they would be able to pay? Nobody. They would still be over the cap. They would still have the same rules for signing free agents than they do now.

  22. jesuslovesthelakers - Feb 25, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    Dont hate

  23. brandenmac23 - Feb 25, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    thank u 2408 so many haters

  24. jesuslovesthelakers - Feb 25, 2013 at 2:12 AM


  25. norcaldeportes - Feb 25, 2013 at 3:15 AM

    @addict2sport, everyone realizes it was signed under the last CBA. Hence the topic of this discussion. The amnesty clause only applies to contracts signed under the old CBA.
    @kb2408, you are exactly right. It is a TEAM sport. And that’s why they shouldn’t pay one guy (in his 17th season as you point out) $30.5M when the cap is less than $60M.

    • blameitonlebron - Feb 25, 2013 at 6:19 AM

      I believe the cap is $70M

      • tsi431 - Feb 25, 2013 at 7:12 AM

        Lakers don’t care about any cap. Money will never dictate the Lakers.

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