On Monday the Los Angeles Lakers signed Kobe to a 2 year deal with an expected pay of just over 48 million. The Lakers have not announced the official financial terms of the deal yet but it is believed by many sources that it is just about 48.5 million.
As a result of the new deal Kobe will remain the highest paid player in the league over the course of the extension. The 15 time All-Star will reportedly receive 23.5 million in the first year and 25 million in the second year of the deal.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) November 25, 2013
-A Tweet from Kobe Bryant after the 2 time Finals MVP signed the contract
Kobe has yet to play a game this season after coming of surgery on the achilles tendon he tore in April. He is making 30.4 million...you heard it right! 30.4 million in the final year of his contract.
It is believed that the Lakers front office and the black mamba agreed on the salaries so the team would be able to pursue on top market free agent next summer. Will someone big be heading to Los Angeles in the summer of 2014?
Now I don't want to make any assumptions or say these guys are going to be headed to Los Angeles but it is going to be a damn good free agent class this upcoming offseason. Headlined by the Miami Heat's LeBron James and the New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony who are both free agents come July.
BREAKING: The #Lakers and @kobebryant agree to terms on a contract extension. #GoLakers pic.twitter.com/1JiXnrTJ3h- Kobe and the Lakers front office signing the contract
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) November 25, 2013
It shouldn't be a surprise to any NBA fans that the deal was made at this time, the Buss family has clearly hinted as of late that they are looking to sign the 5 time NBA champion to a new extension. The amount of dollars given in this transaction? You have to be a little surprised with the money the Lakers decided to give him.
What was the rush for? Why did the deal need to be made so soon? It tells me that the Lakers still have an NBA title in sight. Signing Bryant to such a deal at the age of 35 is telling us fans that they need Kobe to still be a top player if he wants to get ring number 6.
Kobe is still a superstar and that comes without question, but is he out of his true prime? Yes. Without a doubt Bryant is still an absolute monster at the game of basketball but we as fans have to realize wheter we like it or not that he is indeed an aging star.
Is that neccesarily bad? No. But by giving him this deal are the Lakers excpecting him to bounce back from his injury and not miss a step. Will Kobe slow down? Will he be the same as we have seen him in the past? Will he live up to this big extension? Will he be the MVP player he once was?
Most will see this as a bad move and I cant really disagree. Giving someone this type of money at the age of Kobe seems a bit too much for me, but can he surprise us and take the Lakers farther than we think in the next 2 seasons? I can see it. But can other NBA fans? Thats a question that will be answered over the course of these next few seasons Kobe has...will he prove he is worth the loaded contract?
The Buss family is believed to have made the deal this early to reportedly demonstrate his importance to the historic franchise. The extension was also announced by the Lakers in a news feed saying that it "should ensure" that Bryant finishes his storied career with the Lakers.
As for Kobe this season...his return date still remains a question. The team is not pushing him to get back so quickly as the decision of when to return is purely Bryant's decision according to head coach Mike D'Antoni. Kobe feels he could adjust and contribute something at this very moment but he wants to wait until he feels he can play for the long haul before entering his 18th NBA season. Congrats Kobe!
Dan J carney is a sports writer for 3 online sports websites. He writes for Tru School Sports, RantSports.com (covers the Charlotte Bobcats), and he also writes for the league news.com. Dan is also a YouTube sports talk show host where he talks on his channel (DanJcarney) about trending topics, questions, and breaking news about everything and anything regarding the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL. You can follow him on Twitter @dan_jcarney, Subscribe to him on YouTube, or add him on Google+.