DALLAS — After torching the Dallas Mavericks for 38 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists to get the Los Angeles Lakers a key win, Kobe Bryant shot back at the Mavs owner who days earlier suggested the Lakers should consider using their amnesty clause on their 17-year superstar.
Via Twitter, Kobe wrote:
Cuban, talking on a local sports talk radio show Friday, immediately followed his amnesty comment by saying he was speaking hypothetically and that the Lakers would never do such a thing. It didn’t stop the Lakers organization from getting ruffled, calling Cuban’s comments “inappropriate,” in an official statement and suggesting it would not oppose the league stepping in with a fine.
That’s not likely to happen.
Cuban, whose team fell to 25-30 and suffered another blow to its diminishing playoff chances, was amused enough by Bryant’s Twitter response to tweet back:
On the radio show, Cuban was asked if he’s surprised at the state of the Lakers. Early in the season, Cuban said he hoped the Lakers “suck.” He said the Lakers’ struggles have surprised even him, and then he steered the conversation back to the topic of the CBA.
“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 on the show. “You just don’t know, right? It’s the same reason I wouldn’t get rid of Dirk Nowitzki.
“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.”
Prior to Sunday’s game, Cuban reiterated that he was simply giving a hypothetical as an example to make a point.
“Any time you try to explain the CBA, it’s hard to do without giving an example,” Cuban said. “Whenever the commissioner or anybody talks about the CBA, they talk about Dallas and Tyson Chandler or Dallas and Dirk or whatever. You’ve got to use examples.
“I was clear saying it was hypothetical and I didn’t expect it to be that way, but it was a good example because they have the highest payroll and the highest-paid player in the league. That’s the end of the story.”
At the end of Sunday’s story, it was Kobe with the last laugh — or last tweet as it were.