Why Kobe’s Massive Contract Extension Actually Makes Sense

Why Kobe’s Massive Contract Extension Actually Makes Sense
Sports
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

Kobe Bean Bryant. The name itself is a lightning rod for controversy, and his recent contract extension will do nothing to bridge the gap between the two polar opinions of him.

Because, let’s face it, you’re either a fan of Kobe or a hater.

His reported two-year, $48.5 million contract extension will continue his reign as the highest paid player in the NBA, though it will be discounted from the max offer he is allowed under the current CBA ($32 million). For some context, here are the next highest paid players in the league this year, as per Basketball-Reference: Dirk Nowitzki, $22.7 million; Amar’e Stoudemire, $21.7 million; Joe Johnson, $21.4 million; Carmelo Anthony, $21.4 million. The rest of the top 10 is rounded out by Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, LeBron, Bosh and Wade.

And looking at those names, it makes sense for Kobe to be there. Those have been, and are, Kobe’s peers. Last season, Kobe’s jersey was the #3 seller both internationally and in the US, and this contract gives him the respect that his brand deserves.

Okay, so at this point expectations about his performance are at an all-time low. Slam may still believe in him, but #NBARANK conducted by ESPN had Bryant as the 25th best player in the league. Many analysts are criticizing how the Lakers are tying up so much cap space with an old (Kobe is 35) player coming off a pretty devastating injury (torn Achilles).

And admit it. You are fascinated by what he will be when he comes back. Will he be visibly slowed? Is it possible to adjust from his ball-dominating ways? Can Kobe Bryant eternally defy the aging process and throw up another 28ppg season based on impeccable footwork and single-minded mid-range assassination?

Yes, the league is about competing for the championship. The Lakers and Kobe know that more than almost anyone, with the Lakers owning 16 titles and Kobe steering the team to 5 of them. And this contract definitely eats into the cap space, which would hypothetically allow the Lakers to sign an additional marquee free agent to pair with Kobe and bring the team back into contention.

But as the Mavericks have shown over the past two years, trying to get Deron Williams and Dwight Howard, cap space is not a guarantee of acquiring these foundational players. The Lakers will still have the cap space to re-sign Pau Gasol (with some concessions on his side) and pursue someone on the level of Luol Deng, Danny Granger or Rudy Gay.

A team centered around Kobe, Pau and one of those wings would certainly be in the playoff picture (this current team is a surprising 7-7 to start the season) while playing D’Antoni offense and barnstorming the league as a part of the “Kobe Farewell Tour.” And isn’t that better than being the Milwaukee Bucks?

Assuming he plays both of these years and then retires, Kobe will have the all-time record for the longest tenure with any one team and only being with one team for a whole career, reaching 20 years with the Lakers franchise. John Stockton played 19 years, all for the Utah Jazz.

With all of the legends, we associate certain jerseys. Iverson will always be a 76er in my heart, Billups looks so right back in Detroit, Steve Nash is forever a Sun. This contract ensures that the Lakers will neither contend for a championship nor bottom out as Kobe chases Kareem’s all-time scoring totals, but most importantly it makes sure Kobe is a Laker for life.

And that, to me, makes sense.

Top Photo Credit: Handout/Getty Images

Share Tweet
React
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

Christian La Du

After years of intense training, Christian emerged from Vassar College as a partially-fledged writer with a degree in economics, who is capable of consistently achieving mediocrity while striving for greatness. He knows how to tie his shoes and does his own laundry (most of the time). When not hard at work, he is trying (often failing) to play pick-up sports.

More In Sports

Also On Elite

World

Woman Escapes Death By Killing Tiger With Farm Tools After Half-Hour Battle

No one messes with Kamla Devi, especially after she killed a ferocious leopard that attacked her during a routine trip to retrieve water. Devi, a 56-year-old resident of Sem Nauti, India, said the leopard viciously pounced on her while she was walking back from the canal. For almost half an hour, Devi battled for her […]

Entertainment

Michael B. Jordan On Success, Creative Inspiration And Leaving A Legacy

The image of overnight success is a misleading one. It implies that a person caught a lucky break, or was simply in the right place at the right time and suddenly propelled into the spotlight. In reality, overnight success is the culmination of passionate labor and the continued mastery of one’s craft. At the moment, […]

World

Huge Group Of Bunnies Stage The Cutest Attack On Man Feeding Them (Video)

Imagine a world where you can be physically buried under a blanket of live, fluffy bunnies. That is a real thing that can happen on Japan’s Rabbit Island. The island, Ōkunoshima, was once used to manufacture mustard gas. Once the factories were shut down, however, there was nothing left to do but let the wilderness […]