Lakers: Kobe Won’t Become Free Agent

VIDEO: Kobe stresses patience with injury rehab


HANG TIME SOUTHWEST — The inner workings of the Los Angeles Lakers just keeps getting zanier. No wonder why they call this place La-La Land.

On Thursday the Orange County Register reported that executive vice president Jim Buss has talked to Kobe Bryant and they have an understanding that Bryant will become a free agent in July to allow the team to address other free-agent needs first before re-signing him to a deal that will end his career in purple and gold.

Sounds good.

Except on Friday, reported, with quotes direct from Buss’ mouth, that the Lakers will never allow Bryant to reach the treacherous waters of free agency. Contract talks have begun with Bryant’s agent, Buss said, on an extension that will be completed at some point before July 1 when Bryant can become a free agent.

“I want to put an end to any speculation that we would allow Kobe to become a free agent,” Buss told “That’s not going to happen. Kobe is a top priority for us. He’s a Laker legend and always will be. I don’t think we’re done winning championships with him yet.

“[Lakers general manager] Mitch Kupchak and [Bryant’s agent] Rob Pelinka have been talking, but with him being hurt, it has slowed the process some. I don’t know when it’ll get done, but I have faith in Rob and Mitch to work things out.”

Meanwhile, Bryant, 35, continues to rehab from surgery on his left Achilles tendon. There remains no timetable for his return and it’s obvious that he won’t be in uniform to start his 18th season, one in which he is owed $30.5 million in the final year of his deal.

Still, Bryant’s future with the Lakers should be a formality. The Lakers want to make sure he’s a lifer, and Bryant himself has said he fully intends to retire as a Laker. This isn’t 2007 after all.

Whether Bryant signs an extension before the free agency period starts or enters into a new deal after it, the ultimate execution of it should be no different from 2012 when Tim Duncan signed a new deal to stay with San Antonio and Kevin Garnett did the same to remain in Boston. Dirk Nowitzki reached free agency in 2010 with no intention of signing anywhere but Dallas. He is set to become a free agent in July, but all signs indicate that he will do the same as Duncan and Garnett, and take about a 50 percent pay cut to stay put.

We’ll see how much of a pay cut Bryant is willing to take. The Lakers have just three players under contract for the 2014-15 season — Steve Nash, Nick Young and Robert Sacre — and are positioned to make a major splash in free agency.

Bryant is focused on getting back to his old self this season to help a re-tooled team with a very real chance of getting off to a very slow start without him. Perhaps Buss sees this coming and wants Bryant’s signature on paper before his superstar ever has a chance at a change of heart.


  1. HangtimeBlogTroll2013 says:

    Kobe’s better than 25th… Top 10..!!

  2. HangtimeBlogTroll2013 says:

    The Mamba will get his 6th ring as the Laker’s Mascot

  3. Kobe will stay and he will win his sixth before everything is said and done.

  4. SHOWTIME7 says:


  5. SHOWTIME7 says:

    Kobe Bryant is going to get his 6th ring before he leaves the nba. knowing that and the near future ME SHOWTIME will be and the NBA and hopefully and drafted to the LA LAKERS and countine on the leagacy THE BLACK MABA left behind.

  6. Scott says:

    If dude really wanted another ship he would play for peanuts to give the Lakers cap room to sign other good players. He’s gotten multiple big paydays. The f’ing greed with these guys, Jesus.

  7. King of boards says:

    You can say all you want about stats, but there is one season to go through, so don’t underestimate rose (impossible), curry, or the black mamba, or overestimate king james. Cause if rose came out of ACL recovery playing like a superstar, expect the unexpected MVP.

  8. King of boards says:

    Black mamba is the best bring in king james, for a superstar duo of the ages, mamba getting 20 mil py,king 25 mil, it will happen,

  9. King of boards says:

    Kobe be workin with james will be something to remember, superstar duo of the ages, and mamba deserves 20mil per year, KLJ6 deserves 25

  10. kriss says:

    Taking a paycut wont hurt kobe very much, I imagine him making max contract money on endorsements and jersey sales, If he can drop down to 10 – 15 mill, so the lakers have a shot at signing some good pieces he can atleast have a shot at the 6th ring in theory. But if he is not willing so sacrifise money for that, its on him not wanting it enough.

  11. pacquiaoverated says:

    greatest ballhog ever should deserve to get his asking price of 30+ million, after all his wife took half of his fortunes away lol, ballhog on and off the court truly a legend.

  12. Muskee says:

    Kobe is done….With all due respect, the Lakers need to rebuild than to lose millions keeping Kobe around. He will get injured again before you’ll know it. It’s a business, make the money and move on. He has a weak supporting cast and he can’t run any more. If Mr. Buss is smart, it’s time to rebuild for another 10 year dynasty just like with Magic, Kobe and Shaq, and who knows who will be the next team of the decades 2020’s?

  13. Bigmatta23 says:

    2 years and $50million…then we want you gone, its done, its over, thanks a million, goodbye!

  14. Jan Rey says:

    This is the best time the Lakers can negotiate an extension with Kobe. He doesn’t have too much of a leverage with that injury of his, and he’ll be forced to take a discount.

    He will have to

  15. OJay309 says:

    Kobe will get a contract around 50 mil over 3 years and in my opinion it’ll be front loaded. Probably 20, 15, 15. Maybe throw in performance bonuses like 250,000 for every playoff win and it rounds out to a solid contract for a 35 year old without breaking the bank. To the guy who said 100 mil… I’m sorry but what team would dare give 33mil a year to a 35 year old, with knee troubles and who is a year off (by july 1st) an Achilles blow out. He made 30.5 this year off an extremely backloaded contract that the Lakers gave him to keep him a laker this long. They pretty much said “okay Kobe, you give us 6-7 years, we’ll give you around 80 mil in the last three.” but he will never see money like that again. And as far as the Lakers making a run at the finals, next year’s free agency will answer that. Who goes where, what “supergroups” get formed. Do we get a kyrie, lebron pact back in cleveland or does the heat big three era continue. Does Melo go west and play along side kobe? Or do the nets make a stab at Melo. There is still a lot to be answered in the next two years but the one question that already holds the answer, is that kobe will never see the same money he did in the last three years. Period.

  16. lakeruniverse says:

    We have received some reports from high Laker sources that Lakers will not aggressively pursue him and it is well known in the organization he will likely be a Clipper. Jerry Buss comnents are intended to pacify fans that he tried all season long once Kobe departs.

  17. OneightwoneighT says:

    If Kobe want another ring to tie his “All Time” IDOL MJ.. he should accept it and negotiate trade with other team

  18. Floyd from Australia says:

    He can’t get $100 mill over three years as the CBA won’t allow it. On a max deal he’s looking at 19-22 million a year. What’s wrong with all of you?

    • Bigmatta23 says:

      ummmm, I think you’re way wrong buddy. Read the CBA mate. Kobe is a veteran on $30.5 mill this year. Yes, The CBA places maximum limits on the salary players can earn in any one season. The limits are based on a player’s years of service, and apply to the first season covered by any contract, renegotiation, or extension entered into after July 29, 2005.
      Generally, the limits are as follows: For any player who has completed 10 or more years of service, the greater of (x) 35% of the Salary Cap* in effect in the firstseason of the contract, renegotiation, or extension, (y) 105% of the player’s salary for the prior season, or (z) $14 million.
      * The maximum player salaries are based on a 48.04% of Basketball Related Income (BRI) Salary Cap (not on the current Salary Cap).
      $100 mill for 3 years is certainly possible.

  19. jay says:

    Of course kobe will stay a laker for life
    Unlike king flop he wont b a sellout to da team that brought u into da nba. All real players dont backstab their home team to try to go win a title.(mj,tim duncan, kobe,wade just to name a few)
    I guarantee there wont kobe jerseys gettin burned on the ground like king flop.

    • jay says:

      And if u wanna talk rings ur boy king flop got a long way to go to try to even compare to kobe wit 5
      King flop left cleveland cuz he couldnt get it done,goes to miami a team full of superstars u better win.And u wanna talk ball hog,miami scheme is the same give da ball to king flop put ur head down like a running back and drive to lane and cry when u miss and no one touched u and sit cryin for a foul.

  20. okc2014 says:

    All of us don’t know what is happening behind closed doors. This is all a business and should continue to run like one. If I was Buss, or actual powers that be, I would take a chance, let him go through free agency, see how he does this season (if he ever plays full strength if you ask me). It’s okay on paper to say he will be a Laker for Life. But let’s face it, Kobe means it when he says he will not be accepting home discounts. And I really don’t blame him for that. Why not? He should care about his dynasty. This I believe is going to be the pressure point for the Laker powers that be: Do we just give him what he wants (he’s certainly not worth the same amount anymore), continue to not be able to afford better players, continue to be a laughing stock team because we aren’t even making playoffs, and losing in first rounds? Or do we hope for a brighter future, force him to accept a lower salary, obtain star players to build again and around, or even risk losing him all together so we can gain credibility? I beg to differ. MANY TEAMS WILL WANT KOBE. Make no mistake, he is an all star player, but get real Kobe, $100 million per year? What medication are you on? I guess the same as Buss if he gives it to you. Whatever they decide, and I really don’t care either way, Lakers will not be the champions for the next few years.

  21. felipe says:

    the owner of the lakers jim buss said to the media( la post i think or something like that) that making kobe a free agent is not an option, that kobe is a laker legend and he will remain a laker for life

  22. Ace83 says:

    Good call sports fan. He’s copied everything else he does from Jordan, might as well copy his contract tactics as well.

  23. Henrik Jensen says:

    I hope that lakers will not win any championships with kobe 🙂 haha, Celtics fan for life

  24. Mud says:

    The fact that he’s talking about getting as much money as possible shows that the 6th is not really a priority to him. It basically shows what we’ve seen all these years: it’s me, myself, and I. There’s no team in Ko”ME” Br”I”ant.

    • OJay309 says:

      Technically there is team in “Ko ‘Me’ Br ‘I’ ant. Just saying. Do a word jumble sometime. Lol

  25. WhiteMambo says:

    Kobe is a Laker for life only because no other team will dare sign him at this point of his career. Any knowledgeable basketball fan who truly understands the game know that bringing Kobe in to any other team would be a disaster to that team.

  26. Lakers Fan says:

    @ Mark: My bad, I was just questioning Kobe’s desire to get his 6th ring. If he’s sincere he’ll be more than willing to part ways with his millions to get the right personnel on board. But I do know this is only half of the problem. IMO, D’Antoni’s not the right coach for this team in the 1st place.

    • Antonio R says:

      I have read some great comments on Kobe but everybody knows at the end of the day it depends on Kobe to make a personal decision to win or earn money, I hope he chooses win because Melo could be his Pippen jus saying Melo ain’t opting out for no reason he is shopping for a new place 2 play, LA would be perfect for him and the lakers,his scoring would no question help Kobe, and they have to fire a defenseless minded coach I never liked Dantonis style it’s like watching park basketball watch one man hog the ball while everybody else stands around and pray for a rebound. 2014-15 Phil Jackson will be back, if not Kobe leaves for a new team.

  27. black caffe says:

    he is worth every penny. maybe other good players should take pay cuts to come and win with him. im just saying!

  28. Kome the Black Dumba says:

    Please trade me to a contender so I can get my 6th ring so I can copycat MJ every move.

  29. sports fan says:

    Everybody has to remember than when MJ came back for his 2nd threepeat he kept signing 1 year deals. Each of those years he was the highest paid player (based on 1 year at a time). He didn’t do a multiple year contract. IF Kobe doesn’t retire after this season & he actually might do so depending on how well he feels after recovering from his injury, I think he’ll sign a 1 year deal like MJ. Kobe might feel like he can only play 1 more year after this year & still demand to be the highest paid player. Then if he feels like he can play 1 more year after that then he’ll sign another 1 year deal. This will make more sense because of coming off of a major injury at age 35.

    • WhiteMambo says:

      When MJ started getting those 1-year contracts, that was the last 2(or 3?) years ending with Chicago’s last championship in 1998, and a 3-peat at that, MJ was 35 years old, he deserved all the money he got and more. It’s a different situation now with Kobe, with him the Lakers were not able to get past the 2nd round of the playoffs the last 3 years. Kobe now is 35 years old with no recent solid bargaining chip for demanding top dollar. Laker management would be wise to get younger talent than overpay Kobe. Overpay would be giving him more than 15mil a year.

      • sports fan says:

        I do agree with you that Kobe can’t command top dollar. I think the Lakers will keep Kobe but due to his age & injury they won’t gamble with signing him to a multi-year contract. My initial comment about one year deals being more realistic is in response to everyone here thinking the Lakers will sign him to a 2-3 year contract.

  30. Lakers Fan says:

    If Kobe wants his 6th ring, he should “go” through the free agency frenzy while the Lakers are busy signing “integral” and/or future pieces. Then he should get whatever is left (a reasonable amount of course).

    • mark says:

      Lakers Fan:

      Read my earlier post on cap holds. To sign Kobe for what is left, the Lakers would first have to waive Kobe, otherwise, they would be subject to Kobe Bryant’s $31,976,495 cap hold. Look at the list and the cap holds, because all those players would have to be waived, as well. The only way to avoid the cap holds is to sign the players for less before free agency starts. That is why Jim Buss says Kobe won’t go through free agency, because he expects to pay less. I don’t see that happening.

  31. pacquiaoverated says:

    . “For me to sit here and say, ‘Oh yeah, I’m just going to take a huge pay cut. Nah, I’m going to try to get as much as I possibly can.”

    for me, this line indicates that kobe will still have to evaluate his performance this season and weigh things if he worthy of demanding a high contract but if his game wont be the old mamba…im sure he’ll take a pay cut

    nah… a ballhog never shy away from shooting the ball moreso take a pay cut lol!

  32. you are all ... says:

    Kobe should go to Chicago and win multiple championships

    • mark says:

      How would that happen? Chicago is over the cap with 6 players signed for next year. The players below have cap holds. You would have to waive all of them and Amnesty Boozer just to have $16 Million for Kobe, which would give you 6 players and you would be capped out. The other 9 players would have to be veteran minimums or other exceptions.

      Hinrich $5,276,700 Nazr Mohammed $915,243 Mike James $915,243 Luol Deng $19,136,250 Total: $0 $26,243,436

      • justsayin says:

        I’ve heard rumor before that the Bulls might not retain Deng after his contract expires.

        So would a sign and trade of Bryant for Deng be possible?

        Even if it were I doubt he’s leaving LA – just speculating out of curiosity.

    • Skillz17 says:

      Dumbest comment I read all day!

  33. Gillsy says:

    Kobe has to remember that he is 35 and not 25. He is a good player but like the others mentioned he will have to take a pay cut. One because of his age and second is that if he wants to win another ring he will have to hare the love on the contract value to allow for the Lakers to throw some dollars at quality people. However, this still didn’t work for Howard he still ran. I think he will be on about a 60 to 70 million for three seasons.

  34. jv says:

    . “For me to sit here and say, ‘Oh yeah, I’m just going to take a huge pay cut. Nah, I’m going to try to get as much as I possibly can.”

    for me, this line indicates that kobe will still have to evaluate his performance this season and weigh things if he worthy of demanding a high contract but if his game wont be the old mamba…im sure he’ll take a pay cut

  35. mark says:

    Below is information from Hoopsworld as to the cap holds for Lakers players for 2014. The Lakers can waive players so that their cap holds won’t prevent them from signing free agents, but they lose the ability to go over the cap if they sign him after waiving him (that is why Francisco Garcia only signed for the veterans minimum with the Rockets). Who would you waive and who would you keep from the list below (add Nash at 9,701,000 to the players that you keep and subtract that from 60,000,000 and that is all you have to sign somebody else’s free agents with)?

    Cap Holds 2014

    Chris Duhon – X
    Steve Blake $7,600,000
    Kobe Bryant $31,976,495
    Jordan Hill $6,650,000
    Chris Kaman $3,819,600
    Jordan Farmar $915,243
    Shawne Williams $915,243
    Ryan Kelly $1,016,482
    Pau Gasol $20,250,143
    Marcus Landry $1,115,243
    Jodie Meeks $2,015,000
    Wesley Johnson $915,243
    Xavier Henry $915,243

    Total: $78,103,935

    For notes on some of the rules and an explanation of cap holds, please refer to the following Salary Notes.


  36. Unkle Daddy says:

    No matter what his time is closing fast. He’ll still be a very good player for a few more years, but if any body offers more than a high mid level contract they should be fired.

  37. Robert says:

    so what’s the zany part? And … why do they call this place La-La Land?
    Typical out of touch East Coast media s.o.b. Anyone who refers to LA as La-La Land is ignorant. It’s insulting.

  38. Marcus says:

    Hey Kobe, just like last time when you said you were “looking for houses in Chicago”, its still a buyers market here. D. Rose has a few good realtors to recommend.

  39. Craig says:

    Kobe will resign on a small contract or the Lakers finish out his career below 50%

  40. Aditya says:


    lakers will not get off to a slow start and be a championship condtendtending team this coming season or i will be extremely mad.

  41. Mr. Spencer says:

    Jaren, why would you even call him the worst player to begin with, the guy’s a winner. Unless you’re speaking from a
    personality standpoint, listen lots of great sports figures are either liked or disliked, Sometimes being disliked is a way
    of taking them seriously, and respecting them deep down. Certain players have that personality and that edge that
    they carry themselves with, may catch some off guard, but it sure gives them the edge.

  42. mark says:

    The comment above is from an article about the interview below. Watch the video yourself.

  43. mark says:

    The conventional wisdom says the Lakers will bring back Kobe Bryant for the 2014-15 season (and maybe one beyond that) but he will take a pay cut from the $30 million salary he has this season to help the Lakers have room to attract more top players. It’s what Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett did with their last contracts.

    But Kobe told Serena Winters of Lakers Nation not to bet on that big cut.

    “I’m not taking any at all – that’s the negotiation that you have to have.” Kobe Bryant told Lakers Nation in an exclusive interview at his Kobe Basketball Academy on Wednesday. “For me to sit here and say, ‘Oh yeah, I’m just going to take a huge pay cut. Nah, I’m going to try to get as much as I possibly can.”

  44. pacquiaoverated says:

    Kobe will remain a laker until he retires, first no other team wants the ultimate ballhog on their team no other team wants to have an offense that’s me and only me against theopponent. second, no other team wants to give 30+ million to that Kobe and fill the other 14spots on the roster with back up players and expect to win ballgames. so its safe to say Kobe is definitely a Lakers for life.

  45. Alvin says:

    As a Lakers and Kobe fan, In my opinion, I feel that a lot of people and myself included sees that his time is coming up. And perhaps some also feels that in order for the Lakers to be a championship level again, they could really use some younger talented guys, and to do so they have to spend a lot of money. this does not necessarily mean Kobe needs to leave, but just taking a lower pay. But whatever happens, I still support the Lakers and Kobe.

  46. Carl says:

    Kobe’s never had a $100 million contract. This last one was $87 million over 3 years.

    • Pakyaw says:

      I believe Kobe will be lakers for life, but 100 million for 3 years?for him? this stage of his career , coming from major injury?.. Please.. If they do this, they are the worst GM in history..this is worst than joe Johnson contract(Atlanta).. Lol

  47. Vijay says:

    I tend to agree with Mark in terms of Kobe’s insistance that he won’t be offering any discounts. I’m a Laker fan, Kobe fana and a Phil Jackson fan. That being said Kobe would have garnered a pretty hefty pay day in terms of market value prior to his injury but with the type of injury he has, his age and his mileage he will only get fair dollar value now and nothing close to 100 mil, in LA or anywhere. Unfortunately what Garnett, Duncan and Nowitzki reupped for was actually very fair. Could they have gotten more dollars elsewhere, probably, but would they be in the circumstances that they have surrounding them, that’s a no. They would all be playing on lesser squads which means more playing time, less success com playoffs. Look at Duncan in particular, playing his lowest minutes ever and his team was number 1 last season out West. I believe and it makes the world of sense for Kobe to take way less money that he is getting now and give the Lakers the financial space to acquire meaningful pieces so he doesn’t have to do as much as he did last season.

  48. wak9 says:

    it’d be just to weird to see Kobe in another uniform. He should stay with the Lakers.

  49. Jaren says:

    KOBE IS Growing on me alot! I like him now, after years of calling him the worst player, he was humbled. He is the new jordan now

  50. Eaham says:

    Not every hall of famer superstar can be as humble and considerate of their team as TimDuncan at the end of their career :); market value please !

  51. Greg Lipstrong says:

    Kobe’s market value is determined by jersey sales.
    His on-court value is significantly less than what he’s paid.

    • Christian says:

      Not really actually considering all he brings to the table ( 5 rings, and 27 points per game at age 34 and 7 championship appearances)

      • WhiteMambo says:

        regardless of those 5 rings(3 of which was because he played with the most dominant center of all time), Kobe’s on-court value really should not be anymore than a mid-level star at this point in his career. He’s still good yes, but he doesn’t know teamwork and team chemistry suffers with him on the floor. That alone should be a negative on his value on the court.

      • NBAfan says:

        at age 34-35, he is better than most STARS out there…not players…stars. He’s no longer the best player, but he is still damn good.

        Age? Kobe was showing us last year that meant nothing to him
        Injuries? C’mon, you know how tough he is…

        Age + Injuries + rejected CP3 trade + whinny D. Howard = tough tough road ahead for Kobe and the Lakers

  52. Show says:

    Kobe`s a Laker for life, no doubt about that you know.

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      If Kobe stays on Lakers then theres no doubt about not getting that 6th ring you know!

      • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

        Call me what you want Christian, but these are facts. You must be a Laker fan and it must be hard for you to accept that the Kobe Laker era is officially OVER.


      • jc says:

        LA is one of the places to go as a free agent, and this is coming from a Celtics fan. Don’t expect them (or us for that matter) to be down for that long. In a 5ish years the Lakers and the Celtics will be back on top and the Heat’s “dynasty” will come crumbling down.

      • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

        @ jc

        “in 5ish years” the Heat’s dynasty will come to an end, not come “crumbling down”.. by then LeBron should have about 5-6 rings. 2nd of all, Its the Clippers town now, and it will be for a while, The Lakers need a complete overhaul, signing Melo is not enough to save this titanic of a sinking ship that are the Lakers…there is so many things wrong with this team right now its not even funny. As for Boston, it will probly take a decade before they can rebuild their dynasty, with Doc Rivers gone and Rondo on his way out, the only hope they have is by taking gambles in the draft for lottery picks. Good luck with all that. All I know is that LeBron and the Heat are about to 3PEAT!


  53. mark says:

    Bryant has said earlier this year that he will not give the Lakers a “home discount”: he wants full market value. My guess is that he will demand a 3 year, $100 Million contract. The Lakers will let him become a free agent after all, try to sign other players (fail to get the top players on the market), sign him for $100 Million and make a trade or two and not make it back to the Finals in his remaining years with the Lakers.

    • huyhuynh says:

      source please ?

    • anonymous says:

      not even lebron can acquire such an expensive vontract….and you expect kobe to? i feel he will get 15-16 mil per year for 3-4 years

    • HBG says:

      100mil for 3 years? That’s 33.33mil a season. That’s more that he ever got in his prime! Maybe you should have a little knowledge in basketball before you start typing. I’m saying depending on how he does this year, give him 11-17 a year for 3 years or 15 for 2!

      • mark says:

        I know considerably more than you ever will. I never said he is worth it. I just know that the self-centered narcissistic ball hog will demand to be paid that much, because he cares only about Kobe. Look at the link to the video that I posted about him saying he won’t take a cut and that he wants as much as possible. He will ask for a max contract and would get about $100 Million for a max contract.

      • Jimmy Kent says:

        I think they should give him 4yrs 60mill after he retire a front office or trainer position, get sf deng for his defense and physical body, move gasol back to the center where he wants to be, get pf Aldridge, draft a pg for the future and save money to make trades for bench players.

    • Smalls says:

      Haha you should totally be a sports agent

      • BigBoy says:

        i trust kobe will retire a laker. depending on how he plays this year after returning from injury will have an effect on how much the deal will be but he will definitely get paid double digit mills til he retires.

    • Andre says:

      That’s basically it lol

    • David says:

      hold up!!!! 100 MILL!!!!????? you completly forced that because of your obvious animosity towards kobe and his “ball hog” ways lol you sound like a hater trying to predict the future and have no sources on that acquisation if kobe ask for 100 mill no one will sign him for that lol that was just dumb i didnt even read the rest of your comment im sure its filled with more ridiculous attempts at predicting the future point is get off Kobe man lol get a life he is making 30 this because its the last year of a contract he made in his prime lol