Kobe Bryant talks to the media in Washington before the Lakers played the… (Alex Brandon / Associated…)
If the Lakers and Kobe wanted his salary to match his jersey number, how about he goes back to No. 8?
William David Stone
I have followed Mitch Kupchak since he played at North Carolina in the '70s, and if there ever was a general manager as deft and brilliant as Jerry West, it has to be Kupchak. Which makes me nearly positive that during the recent Lakers dealings, Kupchak's job has been to merely give in to the owner and then be forced to explain the lunacy of the owner-impostor, Jim Buss. Kupchak is highly adept at this and can make anything sound sensible, which is why Kupchak is great for the Lakers.
Since the late, great Dr. Buss' departure he's had to explain the likes of the Mike Brown hiring and firing, the Phil Jackson to Mike D'Antoni end around, the Dwight Howard debacle, the egg-basketing of over-the-hill has-beens like Steve Nash — and now this, the highly curious $48-million ring toss rush at Kobe-before-he-kites-out deal. If Dr. Buss was still here, none of this happens — and especially not the purchasing of a $48-million insurance policy for mediocrity for the next two years.
As far as "appreciating" Kobe goes, if, this summer, he threatened to leave feeling "underappreciated," you could have pointed to his past contracts totaling a third of a billion dollars, the place where the bronze thing that looks like him outside Staples will be, and the door. Settle in folks, because thanks to Jim Buss, though, it looks like it's going to be Luol Deng to the rescue.
Once again the Buss family has it backward. They're greedy when they need to be passionate and passionate when they need to be greedy.
I'm not sure if Kobe was gloating in the picture after he signed his new contract, or just extremely pleased. I would have to say GLOAT, as in Greediest Laker Of All Time.
Couldn't Jim Buss have at least waited for Kobe to step onto the court so he knew exactly what he was (over)paying for?
Lakers' fans are now finding out what Knicks' fans have known for some time — a rich father letting his incompetent son run the team will lead to nothing but long-term failure. For Jim Buss to offer Kobe an extension that prohibits the team from bringing in two star players shows that as long as the wrong Buss is in charge the NBA's marquee team will be nothing more than the West Coast version of the Washington Wizards — if that.
I'm amazed at the surprised reaction by several columnists to Kobe's $48-million extension as opposed to him taking less a la Tim Duncan. All one has to see is the difference in personalities to know taking less for the team's benefit is not in Kobe's DNA.
The extension of Kobe Bryant's contract can be summed up in three words: stupid, dumb and idiotic. Oops, that's four words.
Kobe's signing means one of three things:
1) Kobe is greedy. For years we've misread him. He'll take $48 million over any chance to get near another ring.
2) Kobe is delusional. He actually believes that this team is just a Zach Randolph or Rudy Gay away from a title shot.
3) Jimmy Buss is flexing. He sending an expensive message to future studs: "I'm an owner who takes care of stars". I guess something had to be done to save face in light of the Phil and Dwight debacles.
In each scenario, however, Laker fans lose. We'll have endure two more mediocre seasons, the inevitable spiral of Kobe's skills and, worst of all, wait around until Kobe retires so the team can begin doing what it should have started two years ago — rebuild.
Kobe always talks about being just about championships, but he really demonstrated that he is really all about the money.
Bill Plaschke's article about Kobe's new contract shows how cynical he has become along with the rest of the sports world. How nice to see the loyalty shown by the Lakers toward a player whose impact made a huge difference to the team and the bottom line.
In today's sports environment where teams and players change without a thought of this kind of loyalty (think Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning) congratulations to the Lakers for risking some wins and showing the world that contributions mean something.
John R. Oppenheim
Please investigate whether Arte Moreno is advising Mitch Kupchak.
Kobe signed, L.A. sighed. And not one of relief.
There is a team named the Lakers.
Whose fame is as championship makers.
But they no longer will
Cause Mamba got 48 mil
Insuring a future of mostly Steve Blakers.
Gary H. Miller
The big decision