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Kobe Bryant Once Lambasted Critics For Questioning His $48 Million Contract Given His Declining Health

Trikansh Kher

Kobe Bryant Once Lambasted Critics For Questioning His $48 Million Contract Given His Declining Health

Kobe Bryant was a relentless ‘competitor’, often taking things to the extreme to secure the win. Bryant remained ‘loyal’ throughout his career, playing 20 seasons for the Lakers. His loyalty was thoroughly rewarded though, as the Buss family took care of Bryant since he got drafted in 1996. Fast forward two decades to his 17th season.

Bryant was taken down with an Achilles injury just a season prior and was up for an extension. Jeanie Buss took the call to keep Bryant, knowing fully well that paying the 35-year-old would mean bankrupting the Lakers chance at a championship for the foreseeable future.

The trigger was pulled and Kobe was offered a whopping $48 million deal, with Bryant earning over 24 Million, a year, on his two-year deal. Unlike Bryant, the media didn’t seem to like the deal so much as the Lakers shooting guard was 17 seasons into his career, had bad knees, a torn Achilles, and was no longer the athletic freak he once was.

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But this logic wouldn’t be enough to stop an enraged Kobe, who shot back at his critics, per Yahoo Sports,

“Most players in this league don’t have that. They get stuck in a predicament – probably intentionally done by the teams – to force them to take less money. Meanwhile, the value of the organization goes through the roof off the backs of their quote, unquote selfless players. It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”

Kobe did have a point to his rant. NBA owners made billions, while NBA players were only given a small part of the pie. Kobe didn’t like the dynamic much, as he inspired players to think about their finances first.

The economics of Kobe Bryant

Extending Kobe’s contract back in 2013 was never about ‘winning’. Bryant was a crowd-puller and possessed the third-best-selling jersey at the time. Bryant was great for business, and his worth to the Lakers couldn’t be represented in tangible value.

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Trading Kobe back in 2014 would have been nothing short of disastrous for the Lakers. Bryant’s farewell tour alone racked in millions for the franchise. Los Angeles Times reporter had even reported that,

“In the days after Bryant’s retirement announcement three weeks ago, ticket resales to see the Lakers spiked 85%, with an almost equal increase for home and away games, according to Ticketmaster. On top of it, the Lakers are screaming toward their worst-ever record and remain the second-most popular team in single-game sales on NBA League Pass, where viewers pay $6.99 to watch a live out-of-market game.”

As the years have gone by, it has become increasingly obvious that signing Kobe to an extension was neither an emotional decision nor a reward for ‘his efforts’ but simply a business decision. Having Kobe around was the best decision of the Lakers in decades, as the Laker’s annual revenue grew from $152 million in 2001 to $333 million in 2016.

Post Edited By:Hitesh Nigam

About the author

Trikansh Kher

Trikansh Kher

Trikansh Kher is a writer at The Sports Rush. A lawyer by education, Trikansh has always been around sports. As a young track athlete Trikansh was introduced to basketball through 'street ball' mixtapes. He was hooked and it has been 'ball is life' ever since. Trikansh is a designer by profession, but couldn't keep away from basketball. A regular on the blacktop, his love for the game goes further than just hooping. If Trikansh isn't going through box scores for last night's game, you can find him in his studio working on his designs or playing squash at the local club.

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