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With Kobe staying as highest-paid player in NBA, the Lakers can rebuild but it’s not easy

Nov 25, 2013, 1:47 PM EDT

Kobe Bryant AP

Kobe Bryant has signed a contract extension and is staying on with the Lakers for two more seasons. That news made Lakers nation happy — go to a Lakers game and you see the flood of 24 jerseys in the crowd — you quickly realize why the Lakers could not let him go at any cost. He fills the luxury boxes, he draws the sponsors, he is worth a lot to them financially. More than they can pay him.

But they are still paying him a lot.

ESPN reports the deal is for two years at $48.5 million — Kobe Bryant will remain the highest paid player in the NBA.

For a team that has sold its fan base on making moves with a lot of cap space this summer to again contend, this throws a little kink in the plan. A big kink. Maybe a crippling kink.

The Lakers will still have money to go after a max free agent (if they can recruit one, that’s another issue) but after that they wouldn’t have a lot left. Especially since they do not want to go over the luxury tax line next year, they want to get away from the repeater tax.

That is not going to make the Lakers a contender. The contract holds them back (remember Tim Duncan scaled back to $11 million, Kevin Garnett about the same).

The Lakers still should have about $22 million in cap space next summer, reports Larry Coon at his NBA CBAFAQ. (Ed. note: These numbers are updated from the original version of this post.) In case you’re curious, is more than LeBron James will get but less than Carmelo Anthony’s max ($23 million). Not that either of them are likely to leave their current settings ( you never know, but don’t bet on it). The Lakers will be in the market for second tier guys — Luol Deng, Zach Randolph, Danny Granger and others.

The salary cap next summer is projected to be $62.9 million. The Lakers will also have their own first round draft pick. Based on their current record, this pick would fall around #15, and would therefore count around $1.5 million against their cap.This would give them a total of about $37.66 million for six players. We need to add another six cap holds totaling $3,04 million, which brings the total to about $40,70 million.

With this team salary, the Lakers would have about $22.2 million in cap room next summer.

However, the situation gets even more complex for the Lakers.

The Lakers process has to start with a clear plan for  what kind of team they are building — if they are keeping Mike D’Antoni around as coach they can’t just go get anyone (particularly Carmelo Anthony), they need to get specific players that fit his system and what he wants to do.

The Lakers go into next season with three contracts on the books — Kobe at $23.5 million, Steve Nash with $9.7 million (with what he is saying I don’t expect he will retire), Robert Sacre at $915,243 (Elias Harris has a non-guaranteed deal, we will assume he is gone). They will have a roughly $1.5 million slot for their first-round draft pick this year. In theory Nick Young could stick around as he has a $1.2 million option, but it is more likely he opts out to try and find a longer deal. The Lakers have a player option on Ryan Kelly at $1 million they may pick up. The Lakers also likely would want to keep Jordan Hill around, but he is an unrestricted free agent playing his way into a bigger payday than the $3.5 million he made this year.

Then there are the cap holds — placeholders against what the Lakers can spend based on them keeping their own free agents. Pau Gasol is at $20 million, Steve Blake at $7.6 million and it goes on down the list through Chris Kaman, Jodie Meeks and others.

To have their max money to go after free agents the Lakers have to renounce their rights to all of those guys – plus Jordan Farmar, Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson and others playing well in their roles — and let them be free agents. Only then do they have the empty roster and cap space. Or they could re-sign those guys and cut into the $20 million.

Which is to say, the Lakers can’t just test the market and expect Gasol to be there as a fallback in case their dalliance with others doesn’t work out.

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has said before rebuilding is a multi-year process for the Lakers — they are not going to check everything off the box this summer.

But if they are going to get Kobe Bryant the ring No. 6 he so desperately wants they only have a couple of years now as a window. And it’s not going to be easy to get those guys. Not with Kobe’s salary on the books.

127 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. senorpapino - Nov 25, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Kobe makes such a weird paradox for the Lakers – his value is probably actually more to the franchise than his contract, but his extension kills their ability to significantly improve outside of a trade. They will probably manage to make the playoffs (given that they are .500 this year so far without him) each year but it looks very unlikely that they can move into the upper echelon in the West before he retires.

    • spursareold - Nov 25, 2013 at 2:34 PM

      They’re done as contenders until Kobe retires. He’s seen to that personally.

      • thedano - Nov 25, 2013 at 2:59 PM

        You probably said that before they acquired Gasol and won back-to-back?

      • ryanrockzzz - Dec 2, 2013 at 1:20 PM

        A younger Gasol and Kobe are a completely different animal then an againg, unproven after injury Kobe, and a shell-of-himself Gasol.

    • eventhorizon04 - Nov 25, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      Yeah. Player productivity can drop off a cliff at any time after age 35. Just ask Kevin Garnett, who just last year was a high-quality NBA player (when given rest).

      The good news from the Lakers is that it’s only 2 years, but with Kobe set to be paid higher than any other NBA player over the next 2 years, the Lakers have to hope he plays at a top-5 overall level.

      If he “only” plays at a top-20 level (which would still be impressive considering his age and recent severe injury) instead of a top-5 level, then the Lakers are stuck with an untradeable, cost-ineffective player.

      • thedano - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:01 PM

        The Lakers aren’t looking for a tradeable asset in Kobe. They want him to retire a Laker. They seem to be willing to go that route even if they don’t contend with the upper class of the West.

        I don’t know if a full blown Kobe to Garnett comparison is fair. Kobe to Jordan, Kobe to Kareem, Kobe to an all-time great? Maybe. He won’t be top 5 anymore, but is capable of top 15.

      • spthegr8 - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:04 PM

        @event
        No disrespect too K.G. but, he ISN’T Kobe Bryant. Not by a LONG SHOT!! Just Saying”!!!

    • fiyeaglesfiy - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      I think this contract gives him a worse chance at catching Michael’s 6, but a better chance at catching Kareem’s 38,387….

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:14 PM

        He’s going to need to average over 30 PPG every game for the length of his contract to do that. Doubtful. As great of a player as he is, he hasn’t averaged 30 PPG in consecutive seasons since 05-07, and never three years in a row. In fact, he’s only averaged 30+ PPG three times in his career total.

      • sportsfan18 - Nov 26, 2013 at 8:39 AM

        This contract, provided he remains healthy does give him a good chance to catch Kareem.

        He WON’T catch Kareem during the two yrs of this contract but he could close to within a 1,000 pts of Kareem during the two yrs of this contract and if he does that…

        Kobe WOULD play one more season to pass Kareem… and he’d be the scoring champ until LeBron and then Durant pass him several yrs down the road.

  2. spthegr8 - Nov 25, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Good article Kurt. I agree with you 100%. They had to re-sign him ( All be it 48.5 over 2yr’s is a high dollar amount ) Now don’t get me wrong, he is worth every penny of it but, do we have enough money to bring in a big-time free agent??? The window is 2 yr’s now, which means, we need to have a productive off-season or pull off a big trade. Pau is the only trade bait we have & I don’t know how much trade value he has?? Hope Mitch can figure something out because I have NO FAITH in Jimbo. Just Sayin’!!!!!

  3. topdawg4ever - Nov 25, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    …and you just know Lakers fans will think it’s great and that Kobe took a pay cut LOL. They are still doomed.

    • asimonetti88 - Nov 25, 2013 at 2:51 PM

      He did take a pay cut. He took a 25% pay cut. How would you like to take a 25% pay cut?

      • thedano - Nov 25, 2013 at 2:58 PM

        He did. But I think most Laker fans probably were hoping for a little more. A Tim Duncan or Kevin Garnett type deal. $10-15mil per. That extra could have gone towards another centerpiece.

      • spursareold - Nov 25, 2013 at 2:59 PM

        Sorry. Taking a 5M paycut off of 30M is NOT 25%. It’s alos not in any way helpful in getting more talent on the roster.

      • thedano - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:03 PM

        Reports say ownership wanted Kobe to remain the league’s highest paid player. No reason everyone of your posts has to center on Kobe only angry Spurs guy.

        It’s about a $6.5mil cut for next year.
        Not enough for them to do too much. But we don’t own the team.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:07 PM

        Unless the numbers posted earlier are incorrect, he’s taking a $7.45 million cut from $30.45 million this year to $23 million next year. That translate to a 24.5% cut.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:07 PM

        “It’s alos not in any way helpful in getting more talent on the roster.”

        I didn’t say anything about acquiring talent. I just said he took a pay cut, which he did.

      • topdawg4ever - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:49 PM

        Even with the SMALL cut he took he left the Lakers out of range to get anyone worth a damn. He basically insured the Lakers will be losing at least for 2 more years. That’s why it’s laughable to crow about how Kobe took a salary cut.

        And believe me- if I was in a position where my salary and ONLY my salary would either break a company or if I took a cut it would insure my company stayed solvent you bet I would take a cut. In fact, I’ve taken stock options in pre-IPO companies instead of a salary a few times. That’s the difference between someone who wants the team (or company) to succeed versus a selfish a-hole.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:17 PM

        “Even with the SMALL cut he took ”

        Try taking a 25% pay cut before you say it’s small.

      • Anoesis - Nov 25, 2013 at 7:42 PM

        topdawg-

        Your analogy is faulty. You’re conflating monetary success with winning games. Comparing your fictitious company’s solvency to the Lakers’ is ludicrous. They’ll make lots of money with Bryant on the roster the next couple of years. What they won’t be able to do is compete on the court very well.

  4. bougin89 - Nov 25, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Some of the possible free agents next year:

    PG’s:
    Stuckey
    Sessions
    Hinrich
    Fisher(Joking)

    SG’s:
    Vince Carter
    Lance Stephenson
    Ray Allen
    Thabo

    SF’s:
    Pierce
    Marion
    Deng
    James(if he opts out not leaving the Heat)
    Melo(if he opts out, which it sounds like he will, doesn’t mean he leaves the Knicks)
    Granger

    PF’s:
    Dirk(not leaving Mavs)
    Zach Randolph
    Gasol

    C:
    Okafor
    Kaman

    Some decent players but a lot of them are either old or more of a final piece type of player. Don’t expect the Lakers to build a contender through free agency.

    • thedano - Nov 25, 2013 at 2:56 PM

      No, not next offseason. But there is no rule they need to spend all their cap space next year either. Stay under the cap for a year, avoid repeater penalties.

      Stephenson is a nice player if IND lets him go. Gasol could be resigned though he reportedly doesn’t want to take less to do so.

      The rest of that list isn’t going anywhere or isn’t worth signing.

      • bougin89 - Nov 26, 2013 at 9:38 AM

        I agree. I posted the list of some of the free agents because it’s not realistic for the Lakers to build through free agency this year without getting really creative. They are better off trying to get a rebuilding piece or at least younger by trading Gasol and with their 1st round pick this year in a loaded draft.

    • spursareold - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      Pairing Kobe making $10-15M WITH one of those would certainly help the Lakers fortunes.

      • bougin89 - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:10 PM

        Which one? Randolph? Deng? Pierce? Carter? Thabo? Any of those two? I’m not seeing it. The Lakers will have to get creative through a trade(can they get good value for Gasol and his expiring deal?) and luck in the draft to really start a rebuild.

      • Anoesis - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:18 PM

        Which has never happened before, right?

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        Randolph paired with Kobe might make them slightly better, maybe 3-4 wins better than Kobe with Gasol, but the goal is to win the championship, not slightly improve.

        Dirk is a game changer, but he is not leaving the Mavs. Ditto for LeBron and Miami.

        Melo could potentially make the Lakers better, but do you really want to commit $20+ million to him long term?

        The rest of the players on that list don’t elevate the Lakers to championship level.

      • JHathwell - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:34 PM

        This is it right here. As is being proven now, D’ Antoni can do allot with a little so long as he has his type of players.

      • bougin89 - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:17 PM

        @Anoesis

        If your comment was directed at me I did not at all rule that out. I just think that would be the more realistic way that the Lakers will get better faster than through free agency.

    • 00maltliquor - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      I know. Looking at that list we’re better off just keeping Gasol. Prime FA talent next year is almost non-existant.

      This kind of is a bit of a quagmire on what to do. But since Kobe only has 2 years left and we’re trying to get him a ring, instead of finding that Max guy, take two of those veteran 2nd-tier guys and try to resign as many of those bench guys that have been holding us down as possible. The real work, sadly, will most likely began once Kobe hangs ‘em up.

    • whereyaat - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:23 PM

      Thanks for posting the list. I agree with your point. When considering D’Antoni’s system, I think you have to immediately subtract slow players and guys who can’t shoot, because they won’t work in that system.

      PG’s:
      Stuckey (sketchy outside shooter)
      Sessions
      Hinrich
      Fisher (Joking)

      SG’s:
      Vince Carter (slow)
      Lance Stephenson (improving shooter, but at times last year his outside shooting was poor)
      Ray Allen (slow, but a good enough shooter to fit the system) (not realistically leaving Heat w/out retiring)
      Thabo (sketchy outside shooter)

      SF’s:
      Pierce (slow)
      Marion (poor shooter)
      Deng
      James(if he opts out not leaving the Heat)
      Melo(if he opts out, which it sounds like he will, doesn’t mean he leaves the Knicks)
      Granger

      PF’s:
      Dirk(not leaving Mavs)
      Zach Randolph (definitely slow, declined this year before the injury)
      Gasol

      C:
      Okafor
      Kaman

      • whereyaat - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:24 PM

        All that being said, maybe Deng is the best fit out of that list?

      • JHathwell - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:44 PM

        This list is missing people.

      • bougin89 - Nov 26, 2013 at 9:40 AM

        Deng would be the wing defender they could really use, but at what price?

    • JHathwell - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:21 PM

      Your list is missing Bosh, Wade, Spencer Hawes, Kyle Lowry and a bunch of other useful guys.

      • bougin89 - Nov 26, 2013 at 9:34 AM

        I didn’t intend to list everyone. I was just naming some of the players at each position.

        Bosh and Wade both have early termination’s in their contracts. If they do opt out I HIGHLY doubt they go anywhere else, same as Lebron.

        If you’re counting on Hawes and Lowry as being the Lakers saviors, good luck.

      • JHathwell - Nov 26, 2013 at 3:28 PM

        Just thought it was weird to make an argument about the free agent talent pool and leave several important names off of it.

      • bougin89 - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:38 PM

        The only way Bosh and Wade opt out are if they have a longer term contract already negotiated in place with the Heat. They are not legitimate free agents after this year.

      • JHathwell - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:43 PM

        That’s wrong. All three of them have an ETO after this year. Google it, brother.

      • bougin89 - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:46 PM

        “The only way Bosh and Wade opt out”

        I said they can opt out but if they do it will be because they have a longer guaranteed deal with Miami in place. They aren’t going anywhere.

      • JHathwell - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:49 PM

        Cmon dude, you can’t know that. This team is watching their window close and Wade and Bosh face the prospect of being traded. Options have to be explored here.

      • bougin89 - Nov 26, 2013 at 5:10 PM

        You can’t trade Wade and get equal value. Wade isn’t getting traded anytime soon. You can argue Bosh’s value to the heat but he would be hard to replace. You don’t mess with a team very capable of contending every year, especially one that has gelled like the heat. Trust me, it kills me to type this because I think the big three teaming up to go to Miami killed the competitive balance of the league…but that’s for another discussion.

      • JHathwell - Nov 26, 2013 at 5:17 PM

        Disagree. This team was lucky as hell to win the title last year and it’s only gonna get worse. Don’t see them getting past Indiana this year unless Paul George goes down (which just might happen at this rate). Next summer, the Heat are going to have to take a good, long look at their future and whether or not they can compete with Indiana in the future while two of their three stars age and diminish.

        Hell, LeBron needs to have a look at it as well. Oh, and trust me, it’s a virtual certainty that some team would give up too much to get Wade.

      • bougin89 - Nov 27, 2013 at 9:22 AM

        If a team has that much to give, why would they give it up? You aren’t going to get a player the value of Wade for Wade.

        I do agree with your point that the Heat are far from a virtual “lock” to win this years title. You have to consider them the favorites but they could be knocked off.

      • JHathwell - Nov 27, 2013 at 3:24 PM

        You think Pat Riley doesn’t see that, too? You think he’s not up night trying to figure out a way to improve this team?

        Honestly, you might be overstating Wade’s value at this point. He’s a declining star whose body has taken a physical beating. His marquee value might mean more elsewhere than it does is Miami, which was cause someone to give up the vault for him.

        Again, all it takes is one stupid GM.

  5. thedano - Nov 25, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    topdawg4ever. I think you are way off.

    I’m a Laker and Kobe fan. Did I want Kobe resigned? Of course. I was really hoping, as I think many Laker fans were, for more of a Tim Duncan/Kevin Garnett type deal. 2yrs-$25mil, something like that. Not $25mil per season basically. It definitely limits the teams ability to reload, which is what’s been sold. The Lakers have also made moves in the past when it didn’t appear many moves could be made. They got Gasol out of no where. They got Nash/Howard, when most thought they’d do nothing that offseason. Has every move worked out? Of course not. But they make moves. I would have much preferred Kobe getting $10-15mil per season over the next 2-3 for quicker rebuilding…..but that’s over and done with now. The organization has some kind of plan. The ownership reportedly wanted Kobe to remain the highest paid player in the league. So they must have some follow up moves in mind for later.

    This was never going to be a one year rebuild anyways. Not enough available that fits this offseason. Maybe next. If the Lakers continue to miss out on the playoffs, maybe they can snag 1 of the 7-10 franchise type players in the upcoming draft. Par him with Kobe and sign 1 max, or multi mid level players.

    • topdawg4ever - Nov 25, 2013 at 11:42 PM

      Why am I off? Since Kobe didn’t take a big enough cut it leaves the team with basically no options. Now there is not enough cap space for even a very good player.

      Sorry, with the new CBA the Lakers cannot buy their way outta this one.

  6. fearthehoody - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Lakers are literally OLD NEWS! LA is a Clippers town now, 3 years and counting!!

    • thedano - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:09 PM

      The Clippers are irrelevant until they add a title banner to the rafters at Staples.

      That’s why there are 2 to 1 or 3 to 1 Lakers posts compared to Clippers. Deal with it. The Lakers are always a story. The Clippers have to earn that, not just be 1st round exit stuff.

    • Anoesis - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      There’s a big difference between taking over (no rings, not even a finals appearance) and inheriting the corner office temporarily because the boss is out of town for the week. You Clips fans remind me of the yapping little ankle-biter that acts tough right up until the big dog comes back.

    • asimonetti88 - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      “LA is a Clippers town now, 3 years and counting!!”

      Which is why all the promos for 570 hype up the Dodgers, Lakers, USC football, UCLA football, UCLA basketball, Kings, and… that’s it.

    • spthegr8 - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:31 PM

      @Fearthehoody
      It seem’s too me you “Fear” getting in touch with reality. The comment icon on your computer must be on repeat, Cuz you say the same ol S**T!!!

    • fiyeaglesfiy - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:55 PM

      ….said somebody who’s clearly never looked up to the rafters.

  7. JHathwell - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    the math here is still speculative. there’s a good chance Nash isn’t around by then and if you trade him it’s likely gonna be for expirings, which means you’ve got almost 45m to spend, not 20. they can go out and add a big piece or two, then spend the rest on filling out the roster with minimum guys and whoever they want to keep from this years signings. as we’re seeing with this years team, dantonis system only requires guys that can play it, even if they are considered cast offs and busts by the rest of the league.

    as of now, the cap is 57m and the tax is 70. What makes you think they won’t spend right to 70?

    • Kurt Helin - Nov 25, 2013 at 10:25 PM

      You think any other team is eager to trade for Nash you are naive. The Lakers would have to add sweeteners to trade that deal, there is no demand around the league for him.

      Next year the cap is expected to be $62.9.

      • JHathwell - Nov 26, 2013 at 3:32 PM

        I’m saying that one way or another I expect that contract to be off the books by next year unless he comes back gangbusters this year. Either they use the stretch or they trade him next summer when he’s an expiring. It’s not unfathomable that someone would take it as an expiring next summer.

    • bougin89 - Nov 26, 2013 at 9:48 AM

      “there’s a good chance Nash isn’t around by then and if you trade him it’s likely gonna be for expirings”

      So they are going to trade him this year for an expiring contract? What team would be dumb enough to do that trade?

      • JHathwell - Nov 26, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        1) I said “if” they trade him.

        2) if it’s next summer and we’re talking about someone trading for an expiring, it’s at least possible.

      • bougin89 - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:36 PM

        It is definitely possible but that wouldn’t help the Lakers clear cap room. They would have to take a contract back or give up more trade value for someone to take on Nash’s contract, even if it’s expiring.

      • JHathwell - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:41 PM

        Eh, you don’t ever know. One thing we should all know by now is that their are some pretty dumb GM’s in the NBA. Just look at the moves Cleveland, Brooklyn and New York have made in recent years.

        Besides, I think the “limited cap space” angle is being overplayed. I have a hunch Jimmy Buss is gonna go balls out and spend whatever it takes to make the Lakers contenders for the next two years. If that’s true, the cap doesn’t end up meaning much.

      • bougin89 - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:43 PM

        “One thing we should all know by now is that their are some pretty dumb GM’s in the NBA.”

        Very, very true.

  8. Kevin S. - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    The Lakers can absolutely hang onto Gasol’s Bird Rights as a fallback. I see analysts make this mistake all the time and I don’t know why. Teams don’t have to renounce until they actually need that cap space to sign somebody else. The issue with Gasol is that he might be ready to sign before the Lakers are done shopping around, in which case they have to either sign him or lose him. That said, the moritorium should give them plenty of time to figure out who they’re using his cap space on.

    I questioned in the last thread who could have given Kobe an offer competitive with this one. Off that thought, is there any chance this deal isn’t available to the Lakers next summer, that Kobe would have cost them more? Why commit to him now when you can use the season to evaluate where he is coming off the injury. It just made no sense to do this deal now.

    • Kurt Helin - Nov 25, 2013 at 10:21 PM

      I’m saying there will be a number of teams vying for Gasol and it will force the Lakers’ hand. I know the Lakers could hold on if Gasol waits around, but he’s not going to do that and hurt his chances in hopes the Lakers might want him.

  9. Anoesis - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Apparently Bryant wanted big bucks more than that 6th ring. All $24+ million a year insures is that he’ll have a fat paycheck. It leaves little room for an impact player, so he’s basically on a well-paid, two-year farewell tour. Evidently, by agreeing to pay him that much, the Buss family is more concerned with milking money out of the end of his career than actually competing for another title. I sure miss you, Dr. Buss.

    • thedano - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      How do you know that wasn’t Dr. Buss’s plan? I’ve read that he had laid out what was next if Howard left LAL….

      • Kurt Helin - Nov 25, 2013 at 10:19 PM

        Dr. Buss was not that involved the last few years of his life. It was Jim’s ship, he just consulted.

    • eugenesaxe1 - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:22 PM

      They couldn’t let Kobe walk. He’s too important to their bottom line, and their fans would have a feces fit if he left. This one’s on Kobe, it’s obvious that 6th ring comes after $$$$$ in importance.

      • topdawg4ever - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:25 PM

        If he had taken a big enough cut to bring in someone else to build the team around then it wouldn’t be The Kobe Show anymore. That’s the real reason- not the money.

  10. andiroid71 - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    As is always with Kobe, it’s all about ego. He just couldn’t allow himself to take a paycut, even if it mean helping the team who gave him the platform to become who he is rebuild/retool.
    It’s even more insane when you consider his potential to earn outside his playing contract through endorsements, is more than almost any other NBA player. The guy is a greedy, egotistical player. Both on the court and off.

    • asimonetti88 - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:33 PM

      I said this on another thread, but I don’t understand why people blame the player for doing what we’d all do in the same position as opposed to the management for doing what none of us would do in that same position.

      People did the same thing when the Halos signed Pujols a couple years ago. Yeah, like Pujols should have told Arte Moreno, “You know what? I don’t think you giving me $250 million is a good idea. Please give me less so I can save you from yourself.” I didn’t fault Pujols at all, I was upset at Moreno though. Why would you give a 30+ year old a 10 year contract?

      I’m a big Kupchak fan, but I don’t necessarily like this signing by him. He was outbidding himself. Kobe is not worth the same amount to any other team, on or off the court. I think about $15 million is what the Lakers should have held the line at. Kobe is not going to turn that down if you hold strong. He’s not going to another team, it’s not good for his legacy at all. This signing is questionable at the price they gave him.

      As far as Kobe, good for him. He will be setting up his family for generations. Not just his kids, not just his grandkids, but his grandkids’ grandkids. That is a lot of money. He’s a great player, and I’m happy to see that he will finish his career out in purple and gold as the greatest player in Lakers’ history.

      • unxpexted1 - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:54 PM

        @Asimonetti……Dam my fault i didnt see this while i was writing my post and posted almost the same thing

      • antistratfordian - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:09 PM

        I wouldn’t do that in the same position. Neither would Tim Duncan or Tom Brady or any number of other champions.

        I don’t think you’d even do that in his position. Most people wouldn’t because we don’t suffer from that level of pathological narcissism. Certainly we all deal with our own ego, but I’d feel guilty for demanding to be the highest paid player in the league coming off that sort of injury, with my future performance level being uncertain. I think most rational people would feel that way.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:14 PM

        “I don’t think you’d even do that in his position”

        You offer me $24 million, I ask you where do I sign. No hesitation. You’re lying if you say differently.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:16 PM

        “Neither would Tim Duncan or Tom Brady or any number of other champions.”

        Ah yes, the old “Tom Brady took a paycut” fallacy. Brady’s “paycut” actually ends up paying him more money than he would have received prior to the restructuring.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:19 PM

        “Most people wouldn’t because we don’t suffer from that level of pathological narcissism.”

        Getting paid isn’t narcissism, it’s smart.

      • eugenesaxe1 - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:28 PM

        If Kobe’s family isn’t already set up for generations, he needs to be smacked upside the head with a lead pipe. He’s making 30mil this year, and just got some sort of ridiculous balloon payment. If he can’t take care of his family solely off his current contract (let alone endorsements), then he’s a financial idiot.

      • therealhtj - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:59 PM

        Don’t blame Kobe. Don’t blame Kupchak – this signing has Jimbo’s stench all over it.

        As far as Kobe retiring as the greatest player in Lakers history, barring a miraculous turn of events, that ship already sailed.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:18 PM

        Getting paid isn’t narcissism, it’s smart.

        This just isn’t about “getting paid” and you know that as well as anyone else. There is no reason for Kobe – who has not even been viewed as a top 3 player for some time now – to demand to remain the highest paid player in the league except for one: He views his salary (like his scoring average) as a status symbol that he uses to buoy his self esteem.

        A narcissist of his level is wholly unaware of reality.

        The dynamics are simple: as the narcissist grows older, his Sources of Supply become scarcer [one still available to Kobe is his salary], and his Grandiosity Gap yawns wider. Mortified by the prospect of facing his actuality, the narcissist withdraws ever deeper into a dreamland of concocted accomplishments, feigned omnipotence and omniscience, and brattish entitlement.

        The narcissist’s reality substitutes fulfill two functions. They help him “rationally” ignore painful realities with impunity – and they proffer an alternative universe in which he reigns supreme and emerges triumphant

        To be clear, Kobe is not the 34 year old Michael Jordan – healthy and widely regarded as the best player in the league – but he still demands to be treated and paid like he is.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 25, 2013 at 6:16 PM

        Ah yes, the old “Tom Brady took a paycut” fallacy. Brady’s “paycut” actually ends up paying him more money than he would have received prior to the restructuring.

        You’re missing the point. It was lower than his market value – less than what other teams would’ve offered him for his services. Even throwing in his signing bonus he’s still making less per year than other quarterbacks. And his signing bonus was 7 million less than Drew Brees. Brady could’ve easily become the highest paid player in the league again if that was important to him. It wasn’t.

        What Kobe is making is more than any other team would’ve offered. Kobe does have an interest in keeping the “highest paid” title – that is important to him for irrational reasons – another reflection of his narcissism.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 25, 2013 at 6:46 PM

        “You’re missing the point. It was lower than his market value – less than what other teams would’ve offered him for his services. Even throwing in his signing bonus he’s still making less per year than other quarterbacks”

        He’s making more than he did before he signed his extension. If he’s making less than his market value, fine, but he did not take a pay cut. He in fact did the opposite. He got more money. And it’s not like he’s making peanuts anyway. He is making more than any quarterback not named Brees, Manning or Flacco (and the Flacco contract was stupid anyway).

    • thedano - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:33 PM

      Reports say Laker ownership wanted to ensure Kobe was the highest paid player in the league.

      Was that the right thought process? Probably not, but to assume this is all on Kobe is silly. Haters gonna hate I guess.

    • unxpexted1 - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:44 PM

      I see what you are getting at but dam….i wasn’t at the negotiation table, but who the hell turns down 24 milly? Especially if it was offered:

      Lakers: we want to offer you 24 mill a year

      Kobe: nah i dont want that give me 10 instead. I know i made 30 last year, but please decrease my yearly salary by 20 milly.

      I mean seriously, if he took a pay cut, it may have been 20 mill instead of 24. But what does that even do. I’m not saying I’m happy that he’s getting paid that much, but don’t know him for getting his. Most humans would.

      I will say if he held the lakers hostage for the extension thats a whole other story, but seems like this negotiation was pretty cut and dry on both ends.

      • wkl21 - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:26 PM

        he could’ve done what Dirk & Tim Duncan did and take about $10M so the team can sign other players (I always knew Kobe would chose money over winning).

      • unxpexted1 - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:38 PM

        “he could’ve done what Dirk & Tim Duncan did and take about $10M so the team can sign other players (I always knew Kobe would chose money over winning).”

        Yea Kobe take a 20 mill dollar a year pay cut? Nice. And um…..when these other players got signed for less, I dont remember hearing anything about them being offered more, and taking less. I think Dirk did take less, but it wasn’t some 10-15 dollar pay cut.

        Tim Duncan never took “massive” paycut like you’re suggesting Kobe do. He also was not paid on a scale that Kobe was either, so his contracts seem low now, but he was never the type getting max money from the Spurs because thats not how they operate.

      • Kurt Helin - Nov 25, 2013 at 7:29 PM

        You were not paying attention. Ducan took a cut from $21.2 million down to $9.6 million, he just did it quietly because he is Duncan. KG took a drop from $21.3 to $11.6 mil.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:51 PM

        Dirk is making $19 million this year.

      • topdawg4ever - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:30 PM

        A better question is who the hell gives the guy 48 million for 2 years and doesn’t know how he’ll play? The Lakers were holding all the cards but instead of playing them they gave their team away. They have no idea how Kobe will play when he gets back.

    • wkl21 - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:23 PM

      the Lakers just did retool, they signed this tool for 2 more seasons.

  11. 00maltliquor - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    So much for that home team discount. Oh well, I’m actually RELIEVED that this is done and taken care of. Kind of handi-caps us cap-wise, but worth it to me to see Mamba play out the rest of his glorious career in a Purple and Gold jersey.

    This is great news to me, I am happy right now to not have to wait it out in a panic next off-season to see if a deal will get done. Plus at least we know now what we are up against cap-wise from here on out. And looking at the FA list next year, I hope we get Gasol back as well. AND JORDAN HILLLLL!!!!!!

  12. unxpexted1 - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    I know people always like to bring up Lebron and taking less money to sign with his boys, which was a good move. But Amare and Joe Johnson were both signed to max contracts that year, and both are making 21 mill this year, while lebron is making 19 mill. While I appeciate what lebron did, lets not act like he took a 10 million dollar a year paycheck like people are suggesting Kobe do, age or not.

    • unxpexted1 - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      And i know he’s coming off injury but lets not act like Kobe is showing signs of his game diminishing. His athleticism might be, but his game isn’t. He was still 3rd in scoring last year and the team’s leading assist man. Yea i know you haters gonna talk about how many shots he takes, but he is who he is. If Kobe was averaging 14-18 points a game like duncan and KG and at the tail end of their respective careers, then cool. But the last signs of him show that he can still perform and produce at an elite level.

    • eugenesaxe1 - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:36 PM

      lebron took less money to play in a state with no state income tax. He may be making less, but he’s keeping a lot more of what he makes.

    • bougin89 - Nov 26, 2013 at 10:06 AM

      “Yea Kobe take a 20 mill dollar a year pay cut? Nice. And um…..when these other players got signed for less, I dont remember hearing anything about them being offered more, and taking less. I think Dirk did take less, but it wasn’t some 10-15 dollar pay cut. ”

      This is one of your comments from above. It is completely filled with inaccuracies. Dirk hasn’t resigned yet, he will after this season and has said he will take a steep pay cut if needed. Tim Duncan absolutely took a huge pay cut. He took more than a 50% pay cut. This information is easily accessible.

  13. chargerdillon - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Facts about Kobe:
    1. He will not defer to ANYBODY as far as being the #1 man on the team.
    2. He will not get younger, healthier, nor improve his game from this point on.
    3. Kobe will do what’s in Kobe’s best interest before anybody else.

    Keep in mind I’m a Kobe fan and I rarely miss a Lakers game.There isn’t one single player who’s willing to be the Robin next to Kobe as Batman that can actually win a championship with Kobe.

    Let me repeat that in a different way. There is no current professional player that can play alongside Kobe under his shadow and actually win a championship.

    Any contending team, and any contending player will want nothing more than to be as far away from a guy like Kobe as they can. James, Durant, Love, Hibbert, Granger, Paul, Anthony. Chances are if Kobe wanted to win another ring he would need one of those names, and not a single one is going to play second fiddle to Kobe’s ego.

    I know, other GM’s around the league know it, and the Lakers now realize if they don’t give Kobe everything he wants the Lakers franchise which just got billions for their new TV contract will have a complete garbage product to put on TV if they don’t have the age-old hero to tout as a reason for getting the massive TV contract they did.

    And rightly so if you just gave the Lakers a giant contract like that, you expect them to have something on that team they can talk big about, even if the big talk is about history and not the present.

    Complete business deal that has nothing to do with winning championships. Lakers fans, this is what it looks like to have an owner that is more worried about their bank account than the success of their franchise. Which means we are now just like most NBA franchises. Welcome to our era of mediocrity.

    • topdawg4ever - Nov 25, 2013 at 11:58 PM

      See that’s the thing. Everything you say is true. So WHY did they give Kobe such a huge offer right now?

      You know what you do when you have a guy coming off a very serious injury- you wait and see how he plays. You make him wait until the end of the contract to sign him. Kobe is in no bargaining position AT ALL. He’s been injured. He’s old. He wants a ring. He wants to stay a Laker. Knowing all of these things, the Nitwit Buss gives him 48 million and 2 years? Are you kidding me?

      So now the Lakers have boxed themselves into a corner. Not enough money to rebuild properly, 2 years of who knows what shape Kobe will be in. Kobe would have HAD to take a cut- a big cut- to get the Lakers some cap space. Instead he took the money and ran. Or should I say limped.

      Unbelievable.

  14. dirtydavis - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    If Dirk and the Mavs can win with a bunch of solid role players. Kobe can too

  15. antistratfordian - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    Good grief. The future of the Lakers is in the hands of old, hobbled Kobe and old, hobbled Nash. And Lakers fans probably thought it couldn’t get any worse.

    The simple fact is that the Lakers cannot truly “rebuild” with Kobe on the roster. They need a new, young superstar to start building around and Kobe won’t let that process start until he’s gone.

    • JHathwell - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:52 PM

      Show us on the doll where Kobe touched you, brother.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:06 PM

        That wasn’t effective the first time you used it.

      • JHathwell - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:10 PM

        But just as true. Aren’t you the least bit aware of how embittered you appear to be towards Kobe?

        I mean, it isn’t just that your points never make any sense and you seem to have almost zero grasp of how basketball works, you just come off like Kobe did something very, very bad to you.

        Did you date Vanessa in High School or something?

      • antistratfordian - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:22 PM

        I could care less about how my truth-telling makes me appear to others. People can view me however they want – it won’t “alter the state of facts and evidence.”

      • JHathwell - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:27 PM

        Wow.

        Behold, the power of delusion.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:29 PM

        Yes, that’s exactly the point we’ve been making about Kobe’s extension.

      • spursareold - Nov 25, 2013 at 6:06 PM

        Shouldn’t you be asking a young woman in Colorado that question?

      • JHathwell - Nov 25, 2013 at 7:06 PM

        We already know the answer to that one.

    • spthegr8 - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      @JHathwell
      LMAO!!! I’ve been saying it for WEEKS!!! Doesn’t make any sense nor is it of any substance. Just “Trolling” in it’s worst form!

      • antistratfordian - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:24 PM

        Lakers fans yelling at me in a Kobe article. This is completely unexpected.

      • spthegr8 - Nov 25, 2013 at 6:01 PM

        You “Trolling” Laker/Kobe threads, is totally unexpected also. Not Like you @ ALL!!!!

  16. unxpexted1 - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    So this is Kobe’s fault? What other team has an old superstar AND a new young superstar in waiting? If the Lakers wanted to TRULY rebuild they did not have to sign Kobe at all. So even if Kobe was making 10 million less, how does that help the lakers get another young superstar right now? Lakers have have found a way to acquire talent around Kobe and his monster contract before….which makes me think there is a legit plan in place that makes this work for both parties.

    • topdawg4ever - Nov 26, 2013 at 12:01 AM

      Yes. The Lakers should have done what a lot of us said- amnesty Kobe. Bite the bullet and rebuild. But Lakers fans believed in the BS Kobe spewed about wanting another ring. Which should mean he’d give up some salary to get a team and retool.

      Instead, he duped not just the Lakers organization but the fans.

      • unxpexted1 - Nov 26, 2013 at 8:22 AM

        Amnesty Kobe for what? TO put an even worse product or the court? Nice try

  17. unxpexted1 - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    I know i’m getting post happy on this topic but dam people trip me out. But what is Kobe taking a pay cut for? The thought of maybe kinda hopefully signing some hypothetical player. When Dallas asked Dirk to take a pay cut it was to sign specifically dwight howard.

    I was wrong on my post above, duncan did get a 10 million dollar reduction in salary. But it was to help sign his boys parker and ginobli. When Lebron took his, it was for Bosh and Wade. I mean….who are you asking Kobe to take less money for? “uh kobe just take less money and we’ll see what we can do”

    If they Lakers explicitly trying to keep Gasol, and needed Kobe to reduce his pay and he still wanted this money, I can’t lie, you’d have me. But at the moment, this has not stopped them from being able to do anything. Time will tell if this will become a hindrance to the Lakers.

    • topdawg4ever - Nov 26, 2013 at 12:03 AM

      Well, it really doesn’t matter now does it? Kobe insured that he’d get paid, be The Man in LA and to Hell with the rest of it.

  18. cowpiesnotcowboys - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    This is no surprise, as the Lakers already made the choice to chase profits instead of championships. If they had been serious about building a contender they would have amnestied Kobe instead of World Peace.

    • JHathwell - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:07 PM

      Good thing you aren’t running the Lakers.

      Question, though. Amnesty Kobe and sign who?

      • spthegr8 - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:25 PM

        @cowpies
        Lead foot “Trolling”, obviously!!

  19. sylpkt - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    It’s pretty clear that Kobe chose the $ over getting the 6th ring.

    The more achievable championship path would have meant him spending the entire season this year “rehabbing” and have the Lakers tank for a high lotto pick. Then having Kobe re-sign for the veteran minimum so they could add 2 max (or near max) level FAs, get Kobe back, re-sign Gasol to a “Duncan-like” deal and add the NEXT (really any of the 5 or 6 star freshman or Marcus Smart) Laker star with the draft pick.

    He chose the money and going out looking like a shell of his former self. I can’t blame him for taking the money, he puts butts in seats and is the face of a generation of fans in LA, but if winning his 6th (and matching Jordan) was his goal, he signs the chances of that happening away when he puts his john hancock on that deal.

  20. phillyphil005 - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    The bottom line is that Kobe’s legacy will be marred by his inability to let his ego go and adjust for the betterment of himself and for his team.

    There will always be that “what if”, and I bet someday he’ll look back and wish he did it differently.

    The first half of his career was all time great…the second half was the egotistical, me first guy who let that keep him from being mentioned up there with Jordan.

  21. 32magicman - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Greedy greedy greed

  22. mackcarrington - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Lakers: Kobe, we’ve got this nice big pretty cake for you to have.

    Kobe: Wow, that’s some nice looking cake, but I just don’t want to have it.
    I want to be able to eat it too.

    Lakers: Well, to be honest, we were hoping that you would save us a little of that cake too. That way, you can have it and still eat it.

    Kobe: OK. You can have this slice and I’ll eat the rest.

    Lakers: That slice of cake is going to still leave us hungry for more, but we’ll take it.

    Kobe: It’s a deal!

    • topdawg4ever - Nov 26, 2013 at 12:12 AM

      Damn that is perfect. I actually had to explain that saying to a Lakers fan on another forum when I used it to describe Kobe. You summed it up perfectly.

  23. tdl8 - Nov 25, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    Unfortunately by signing on the dotted line today Kobe just locked his legacy in at 5 titles! No #6 for Kobe with this new day and age of salary cap rules and penalties! And he also just locked the Lakers into mediocrity for at least the next 3-5 years(maybe longer depending on the FA market in a few years)!
    Not that we would have much of a chance to become contenders again with IDIOT Jim Buss running the front office and clueless Mike D’Antoni on the bench but we would at least have a chance if Kobe re-signed for 10-12 mil a year like what Tim Duncan did to keep SA a contender! No we have ZERO chance until Kobe’s deal is off the books!

    • topdawg4ever - Nov 26, 2013 at 12:14 AM

      It’s Kobe’s world and you just buy tickets to it!

  24. fearthehoody - Nov 25, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    Take this news to the OC, LA belongs to Lobb City!

    Clipps run LA!!

    • Anoesis - Nov 26, 2013 at 10:11 AM

      “Clipps! Run, L.A.!” There, fixed your typos for you.

  25. universalseeder305 - Nov 26, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Woww!
    I wonder how much the big3 in Miami will resign for?
    I bet it’ll be for a lot less than this!
    Can you see the difference between the ones who are in it for the money and the ones who are in it for the titles?

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