We knew the Lakers were going to give Kobe Bryant a boat-load of money, but what was given is enough to buy an aircraft carrier or a battleship. People can fix their faces and dismiss it with shock and awe. But Bryant, the highest paid player in the history of the NBA has an extravagant seven-year deal worth around $136 million and will remain as such with his new deal worth around $50 million.
The average fan can only drool as their eyes glaze over in amazement becoming hypnotized by the sheer number of zeros involved in the deal, with the Los Angeles Lakers going into their seemingly bottomless moneybag.
Kobe Bryant remains the highest paid player in league history. And as expected, the Kobe haters jumped out of their dumpsters, growling about his selfishness, and how it’s his fault the team won't be any good for years to come. However Kobe Bryant is a master of the media. In an interview with Yahoo! Sports regarding the deal he said, "This was easy. 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."
At 35 years old, Bryant is considered a bit long in the tooth by NBA standards. But he was at least the second best player in the league before rupturing his achilles tendon last season. Although there are never any clean deals in professional sports these days. It would seem that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and this deal is no different.
Though Bryant is on record as saying that an NBA championship will always be his sole motivation to play, his new contract will make it extremely difficult for the Lakers to bring a marquee player to Los Angeles to compliment his still elite level abilities. Several top players with contracts due to expire next season including LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Luol Deng, Zach Randolph and Dirk Nowitzki; could be tempted to head to La La Land as free agents during the 2014-2015.
But those options may have been reduced considerably with Bryant's signing, as only he and Steve Nash are scheduled to be under contract next season, on the books, for a combined $33 million in 2014-2015. While PF Jordan Hill is in the midst of a career year and will likely be eyeing a raise as well. In addition, Laker big man Pau Gasol is due to re-up next season, but could be the odd man out as he’s high priced and would likely garner more than double the salary of Hill.
It’s now anyone's guess as to how the Los Angeles Lakers plan on improving their roster let alone contending for a title anytime in the next three years.