Kobe Bryant on $48.5 million contract extension: 'This wasn't a negotiation'

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Kobe Bryant on $48.5 million contract extension: 'This wasn't a negotiation'

Between his signature on a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension and a cross-country flight to the East Coast on Monday, Kobe Bryant was left befuddled and bemused by those who declared him greedy and uncaring about chasing championships.

"This was easy," Bryant told Yahoo Sports on Monday night. "This wasn't a negotiation. The Lakers made their offer with cap and building a great team in mind while still taking care of me as a player.

"I simply agreed to the offer." Moncler Män Jacka Hubert Mörk Brun.

Until the hours before the Lakers' meeting with the Washington Wizards on Tuesday, that's all Bryant would say about the contract extension. He is 35 years old, working his way back from a torn Achilles and the Buss family is still betting Bryant is the best free-agent star available on the market, betting that Bryant can still drive ticket sales and TV ratings and make these Lakers relevant again.

In this basketball universe, that's what a max player does for a big-market franchise. The late Lakers owner, Jerry Buss, was always brutally honest about the value of his superstar players – so much more so than his ownership peers. Once, Buss told Bryant he believed he was worth $60 million to $70 million a year to the Lakers.

With Bryant's deal – which will pay him $23.5 million and $25 million in 2015 and '16, respectively – the Lakers have room to recruit a max player this summer, and only Bryant's contract is still on the books for the summer of 2016.

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Kobe Bryant hopes to return soon after having surgery to repair his Achilles injury. (AP)

Make no mistake: There's little chance a max player willing to change teams will be available to the Lakers this summer. LeBron JamesMoncler Mens Jacket Beaumont Ivory.

In the end, NBA owners created the perfect system to underpay and turn the public against its greatest revenue-producing players. Nowhere else but the NBA do the best players have a limit on the salaries paid to them, and nowhere else but the NBA do the best players have such an impact on winning and TV deals and ticket sales.

The owners wanted this system and, truth be told, superstars would be foolhardy to let the NBA rig everything to make them take even less. Deposed NBPA executive director Billy Hunter gave back everything in collective bargaining over the years, and the stars driving the league are supposed to give back even more? It's the Lakers' job to work within the framework of the CBA now, take their massive revenue, their natural recruiting advantages in L.A., and rebuild this team again. Moncler Uomini Giacca Girardot Nero.

The Lakers had a vision for the future, too, and they sold Bryant on its execution with him remaining the highest-paid player in the NBA. That's a superstar's job: Work with the organization, partner in a plan and trust in the track record.

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