Kobe Bryant recently signed a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension with the Lakers. While exorbitant contracts have become quite common in American sports, not everyone is in support of them.
And U.S. Men’s Soccer Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann recently questioned the system, saying American sports organizations are too reliant on their veteran stars (per The New York Times). He focused on Bryant in particular.
“Kobe Bryant, for example — why does he get a two-year contract extension for $50 million? Because of what he is going to do in the next two years for the Lakers? Of course not. He gets it because of what he has done before. It makes no sense. Why do you pay for what has already happened?”
Klinsmann does have a point, but one has to wonder why he’s commenting on the state of American sports when his team is currently playing in the World Cup. He has more pressing needs to focus on.
And Kobe has since responded to Klinsmann, appearing on set with ESPN on Monday, which InsideSoCal.com transcribed.
“I thought it was pretty funny. I thought it was pretty comical actually,” Bryant said. “I see his perspective. But the one perspective that he’s missing from an ownership point of view is that you want to be part of an ownership group that is rewarding its players for what they’ve done while balancing the team going forward. If you’re another player in the future and you’re looking at the Lakers organization, you want to be a part of an organization that takes care of its players while at the same time planning for the future. Jurgen is a coach, a manager. He’s not a GM or owner of the franchise. ”
It’s good to see Bryant took Klinsmann’s comments with a grain of salt. And he’s right: Klinsmann isn’t a GM, and he’s probably not the right guy to comment about how an NBA front office spends its money.
Bryant has five championship rings. He’s worth the money.