Blogtable: Thoughts On Kobe’s Extension?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


Who is the East’s best PG? | Your advice for Chicago? | Thoughts on Kobe’s extension?


You’re the GM: Is that how you would have played the Kobe re-signing?


VIDEO: The Starters discuss Kobe Bryant’s new two-year contract extension

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: For one thing, I would have waited to see how Bryant’s physical capabilities might have changed since the Achilles injury. What was the rush? Also, I wouldn’t be looking at his extension as “good business” relative to a new TV contract or some sort of tribute to Bryant and the Lakers’ aura. The NBA remains a salary-cap sport, so the primary concern has to be what this means to L.A.’s ability to fit pieces around him. That’s harder at $24 million than it would be at, say, $18 million. Maybe the Buss family will spend itself into Mikhail Prokhorov tax territory but if it does, don’t blame some backup power forward for any multiplier effect — Bryant’s contract will be the driver of that.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: Yes. The Lakers definitely need his alpha dog personality and, despite any doubts about his ability to come back after a torn Achilles’ tendon, he keeps them relevant in the Western Conference. While his $48.5 million extension means the Lakers will not have room to add two max-level free agents next summer, that was likely a pipe dream anyway. And if LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony are so inclined, there is still room for one of them to climb aboard. If I’m the Lakers, I’m not expecting that to happen and might have my sights set on the summer of 2015 when Kevin Love could return to California and Kobe is just a year away from being ready to finally pass the baton.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.com: In an ideal world, I would have sat down Kobe and said, “Kobe, my man, you’re the greatest. We’ve paid you nearly $300 million over 18 mostly glorious seasons. Let’s get you to about $12 million a season, and believe me, once you’ve retired, we’ll continue to pay you handsomely as the franchise’s No. 1 ambassador. One day, you’ll probably even own a chunk of this thing. But, look, if a sixth title is really important to you, let’s get that salary down, because we all know the modern-day NBA is not the spend-till-you-bleed MLB your pal Magic is tinkering with. Believe me Kobe, we want to give you the moon, but the CBA says we can only afford the crescent part if we want to end up with a full moon that can really contend.” That’s the ideal world. The reality is what played out, and Kobe, the living legend, in taking $48.5 million over two years, cost his team the flexibility to rebuild as thoroughly as it might, if not this summer, than in 2015 as well.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: I would have gone one season. That’s a reasonable approach as a show of confidence Kobe has earned and a benefit to the organization that will be able to play and market one of the all-time greats. But two seasons before he gets through a month of games while returning from a serious injury at 35 years old? That’s very steep. And as I wrote Monday, there is also the human cost. The Lakers will be trying to recruit superstar free agents while also telling them that arguably the strongest personality in the league will still be a prominent presence.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: No. I understand the loyalty aspect of it, as well as Kobe’s impact on the Lakers’ revenue, no matter how many games they win or lose. But they probably locked themselves into two more years of not contending for a title by handing him that contract. Salary aside, I’d rather have Tim Duncan than Kobe going forward (for a variety of reasons), and Duncan will get paid less than half of what Kobe’s getting paid. In fact, Kobe’s getting paid more than Duncan and Tony Parker combined each of the next two years. And that puts the Spurs in a much better position than the Lakers in terms of contending for a championship.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: I’ve already gone on record several times about this one. I have no quarrels with Mitch Kupchak and how the Lakers’ front office “played” this one. I’d have played it the same way, all the way down to making sure to pose and smile in the picture of everyone sitting around the signed contract extension that was tweeted out before the ink was dry. You can argue that business trumped basketball sense in this case, as it often does in this profession. Sometimes that is just the way the game is played. And there is no guarantee that if Kobe had decided to give the Lakers the home franchise discount that they’d have found a way to lure anyone better than Kobe to serve as the face and backbone of the franchise moving forward (just ask Dwight Howard how that works).

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blog: You know, I get it. The Lakers can’t just be the Lakers, they need to be The Lake Show. They are Hollywood, and they have to have megawatt star power, a BIG name to put up there on the marquee. And in the NBA today, other maybe LeBron James, there’s no name bigger than Kobe Bryant. He’s been a Laker for life, and with this new extension in hand, he will likely retire as a Laker. That’s a great storyline and a terrific career ending to one of the greatest NBA careers in recent memory. The real question is: Is all of that worth nearly $50 million for two years, for a veteran player coming off what has historically been a tough injury for players to overcome? And in some circumstances — different cities, with different financial models — there is no way this could be considered a viable deal. But this isn’t some city, this is Los Angeles. And in L.A., the stars shine brightest. Always have, always will.

Stefanos Triantafyllos, NBA Greece: Yeap! The Lakers made the choice to build their future around Kobe Bryant over the past few years and they have to stick to their plan. Meaning that Kobe is Kobe. In him, you know that you get a superstar, a great leader, a one-of-a-kind scorer, a player that will push himself and the team to its limits. Having Kobe around alters the way you have to built a team. You don’t need a Big 3 plan on the horizon (like the Heat, the Celtics, the Knicks, or now the Nets). The safest way to success is to find the right tools to set along the court next to him. So, I don’t think that losing the chance to lure another superstar is something necessarily bad. As the Greek saying goes “where there are many roosters, the dawn breaks late.”

Philipp Dornhegge, NBA Deutschland: First of all: You can’t blame Kobe for getting paid. Second, no. As GM of the Lakers, I probably would have insisted on less money. I don’t mind the two years at all. But to deserve $24 million a year, Kobe would have to make the Lakers a sure-fire playoff team on his own. And I’m not sure he will. We don’t even know if he’ll ever be truly back. A torn Achilles is no joke. Maybe he’ll be good for only 18-20 points from now on, maybe even less. And then the Lakers would have one third of their salary committed to a second-option type of player.

Adriano Albuquerque, NBA Brasil: You know what? I might have tried to spend a little less, but I would have probably done the same. First, I’m a lousy negotiator, so I would eventually cave in to his demands, and second, he does mean a lot to that franchise. Sure, it puts the Lakers in mediocrity for the next two years, but that guy not only helped bring five championships to L.A, he also will keep that building full until he retires. People have been saying Boston played it smart by trading Paul Pierce, but P.P. doesn’t mean to them half of what Kobe means to the Lakers. I get it. I’d do the same, start scouting 2015’s draft and start planning for free agency in 2016.

25 Comments

  1. pacquiaoverated says:

    this is who Kobe is, a ballhog who is only after individual stats he will still shoot 30-40 shots a game and make less than 15 of those shots, at the end of the day he still averages 30pts a game, the greatest ever ballhog player in the world. heck I guess he still asked for a 30million salary a year before settling for a 24million. what’s ballhog on and off the court.

    • kobefanjay says:

      If you take 30 shots per game and make 15 thats %50 shooting from the field ehich is great!…also that doesnt include getting fouled…where do you come up with ideas like this?

  2. Nam Chio says:

    I read above these articles.
    Kobe must play harder than in the past,but I think Kobe is a aggression and full ambition player.
    Actually,I do not know Kobe scores ability after he is on the basketball courts.
    If Laker gets a champion with Kobe this season , it will be amazing and more difficult.
    I think Laker enter playoffs is easy with Kobe.

  3. kobeisgood says:

    Lakers will make good on Kobe and sign lebron and melo next season. They all take a cut to play with kobe and lakers will trade nash, henry and hill + lottery picks for CP3. With cp3 back at the lakers, the lakers line up will be

    pg:paul
    sg:kobe
    sf:james
    pf:melo
    C:gasol

    As everyone take a cut to play for kobe and lake show, we will run the best O in the NBA. Paul hitting kobe for cuts and james for dunk with melo on the wing for open 3s and gasol spacing the floor. Lakers 82-0 2014 season and champions 16-0

  4. dmh says:

    I get the whole deal of Kobe being the best sg since MJ, however giving the extension before the knee has seen an NBA court is NUTS! Billups isn’t even a quarter of the player he used to be since his injury. The same injury has ended other players’ careers. Nobody knows how long that knee will hold up with the milage and wear and pardon the pun tear.

    If Kobe wants that 6th ring he should have taken less. With the CBA the 24 million a year hampers the Lakers ability to add players around him. There will be enough to add 1 star. After that it is just minimum salary role players. Given the current situation with the lakers, the role players that will come will be the desperate ones and not the ones the Lakers would need to return to the finals. Yes I know about the lakers history and mystique but, in today’s NBA climate the past no longer matters. Plus to add that one star due to cap holds, the lakers would have to renounce their rights to some of the players that they need to resign such as Jordan Hill, who has in his own way sort of proved that big men take a little longer to develop sometimes. Kupchak will have to do some sneaky accounting in order to get around all of that.

    Whats the old saying? Oh yeah, “Make your bed you gotta lie in it.” Unless Kobe is the one exception to the rule of age and injury, it may be a long two years for the Lakers.

  5. Gillsy says:

    People keep saying that with Kobe getting 48 mil for 2 years, they can’t sign Gasol and Melo. Well this is only if they want to stay under the cap. I think they will sign Gasol and Hill. Then sign someone like Melo. Cause they have Bird rights to these two, and as long as Melo or maybe Deng don’t come in a sign ad trade it’s ok. They will just pay the tax. I think exploring the option of giving Munroe a contract and not Gasol would bring some youth.

  6. J says:

    It’s a good move extending it, but a bad move paying him 24 million and then 25 million the next 2 seasons. 10 to 14 million is what I would have resigned him for.

  7. Lakers Fan says:

    Jeff Caplan’s comments has the most sense. I’m disappointed with Kobe’s refusal to part ways with his dough. I know $$$ means a lot, but for a guy who earned enough, why not give something back to the organization and especially to the fans? He should have signed for like, half of the offer so they can have the flexibility come free agency. But Kobe himself put the Lakers on jeopardy with this contract – lack of flexibility and lack of options. I like the supporting cast in Meeks, Young, Hill, Johnson, Henry hopefully these players will not be traded for a player that’s not going to commit anyway (Howard).

  8. dirk45 says:

    Next year Kobe might make as much money as Dirk, Ellis and Calderon in Dallas combined. The difference at least will not be much, probably less than Nash’s spreaded buyout cap hold (if he retires).
    Maybe they don’t get another superstar anyway. But the second row of players, the Ellises, Calderons, Bledsoes and others are cheaper than ever before due to the new CBA.
    Even if Miami the Heat wouldn’t have won two rings without the Andersons, Haslems, Allens and Chalmers of the BBall world. Kobe has signed himself out of a good team.

  9. Brent says:

    If I was running that team I would have offered Kobe 30 million for two years. He deserves that for being a huge draw but if the Lakers want to be serious about contending they need to add more pieces. And there’s no guarantee that any big superstar will be interested in going to the Lakers next year anyway. So you might as well increase your chances by having cap space to play with.

  10. i am nothing, but i allways one of independing which make me, i realy love him alltime by the soul,heartly feel to feeling my own site very very veeeeerrrrryyyyyyyy much.,

  11. i am very simple with innocent man, i am easy to say anotherman belive easyly & which the man can be trust then feedback me hardly sack. but i know that one have everywhere help me. that is allah rabbul alameen.

  12. PC3 @SwHTown20 says:

    This is sad day for Lakers Dr Buss never did this bad of mis-management of decisions his kids are making. Now I understand the lakers will get alot more money from the world marketing then what they signed him for, but this team is horriable & Kobe is coming off an career ending injury at 35yrs old…Plus losing D12 for nothing back is almost heart breaking for the franchise!

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      Exactly!
      The Lakers’ $48 million extension they gave Kobe Bryant this week has left them with enough cap space to either sign one max player or to re-sign Pau Gasol next summer, but not both.
      So because of Kobe’s selfishness / and bad decision making by the Lakers organization, the Lakers have screwed themselves over

  13. kobe knows says:

    20mil a year sounds better.

  14. Tony Nguyen says:

    Two-year extension for Kobe guarantee the next 2 years of good income for Lakers organization and great entertaiment for Lakers fans. These factors can be guaranteed, championship can not be even with a loaded team as the Lakers had last year. I think this is a great move for the whole Lakersdom. Besides, win or loose, this is a worthy compensation for the key of the Lakers for almost 2 decades of financial success and the team hero that defined his greatness by standing up and making 2 free throws while suffered the same injury that cripples other people with pain.

  15. blackmussu says:

    Tell David Aldridge I said, “F… Evolution”!!!

  16. kobefanjay says:

    The timing of his extension does seem strange…perhaps the Lakers have some sort of move in the works this season which will solidify netting one of the max free agents. I have no idea if this is a possibility(someone chime in) but is there any way that Steve Nash could be traded to the Raptors? This would allow Canadian fans to see him play and possibly the Lakers could get a solid player. If they packaged some young players and draft picks could they possibly get Rudy Gay? Just a thought…

  17. LordP says:

    Jeff Caplan say it all..That’s a bad deal For the Lakers.They did a Great favor to the Clippers..finally they gunna have the full attention of LA!

  18. lol says:

    Kobe extension doesnt make any difference, the lakers cant compete since their last championship in 2010.

  19. James_da_great says:

    Unfortunately for the league, Kobe is still a top-5 SG and one of the biggest draws in the NBA after almost 20 years. Don’t blame Kobe for still being one of the best: blame the league, blame the coaches, and blame the scouts for their inability to manufacture better players. When an “All-Star” like Stoudamire can say, “No one ever taught me how to play D since I have been in the league” then there is a problem with the system. Who else are you going to pay the money too? Name 4 SG’s better than Kobe. Now name 10 players definitively better than Kobe. ROFL

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      The Lakers’ $48 million extension they gave Kobe Bryant this week has left them with enough cap space to either sign one max player or to re-sign Pau Gasol next summer, but not both.

      Sorry, but the Lakers will not be a championship contender next year with an aging Kobe coming off on one of the worst injuries in sports history and only being able to sign either Melo or Pau Gasol because they OVERPAID Kobe jelly bean Bryant