Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 at 11:50 am  |  55 responses

Kobe Bryant Calls ‘Bullsh*t’ on Criticism of $48 Million Deal

by Marcel Mutoni @ marcel_mutoni

Most of the basketball world reacted negatively to Kobe Bryant’s two-year, $48.5 million extension with the Los Angeles Lakers. Media and fans tsk-tsk’d the franchise for giving so much money to a late-career Kobe; some of them accused Bryant of being selfish for taking the deal.

The superstar guard can’t understand why there’s widespread criticism for his agreement to a contract that will make it harder for the team to build a title-contending team — regardless of what they may otherwise claim — and advises other players not to let NBA team owners pay them any less than they’re worth.

Per Yahoo! Sports:

“Most of us have aspirations for being businessmen when our playing careers are over,” Bryant said. “But that starts now. You have to be able to wear both hats. You can’t sit up there and say, ‘Well, I’m going to take substantially less because there’s public pressure, because all of a sudden, if you don’t take less, you don’t give a crap about winning. That’s total bull—-. I’m very fortunate to be with an organization that understands how to take care of its players, and put a great team out on the floor. They’ve figured out how to do both.”

“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.” [...] “Bull—-,” Kobe Bryant finally again said on his way back to the locker room. “Pure bull—-.”

Kobe’s argument is simple: the owners strong-armed their way into the punitive CBA, and it makes no sense for the players to be the ones forced to sacrifice.

Besides, Kobe Bryant has just accepted a big paycut.

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  • jmm

    “Kobe’s argument is simple: the owners strong-armed their way into the punitive CBA, and it makes no sense for the players to be the ones forced to sacrifice.”

    Hard to argue with that. Also hard to argue with the fact that Kobe is a big part of the reason why the Lakers are worth what they’re worth – when you look at it, his salary pales in comparison to what he earns his franchise.

  • Lakernation

    Get your money player, F— the haters!

  • Above_You

    I never thought I’d say this, but Kobe is actually right.

  • shockexchange

    In the Shock Exchange’s opinion, Horry Jr has a point. If the Lakers offered the money then why not take it? It’s not like it was a contentious negotiation. The media will ether players for being greedy and causing teams to exceed the cap. You also notice how most of the owners and the players are from a different race? The players will never win that “PR battle” with the public and the owners know it.

  • Cortez Mack

    “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.”


    “Well, I’m going to take substantially less because there’s public pressure, because all of a sudden, if you don’t take less, you don’t give a crap about winning. That’s total bull—-.”


    If you think Bryant does not care about winning, after observing his demeanor all of these years, then you are an idiot. You may not agree with his approach, but caring about winning is not a rational conclusion.

  • JoeMaMa

    Kobe’s saying the following: 1. He’s spoken to the Laker management/ownership, and they’ve stated that they’re prepared to go into the super tax. As such, he can get his money, and everyone can smile. 2. He deserves more, but given the cap situation, he’s actually taking less than his value. 3. People don’t understand that the Lakers are a different breed. Different money, different tradition, different standards. I say this as a Raptors fan. I wish the Raps could sniff that organization.
    Now the question is – will the Lakers really go into that massive tax?? Their TV deal says ‘yes’.

  • berkamore

    Oh man, who cares really? He got the money, good for him. Maybe he had valid reasons to do what he did but he is delusional if he thinks there is another championship coming.

    Just to keep something in mind, including the $30 mil he’s making this year, he will have made $ 280 million in salary before his new $48 million contract kicks in. (and I am not even couting endorsements). Now it’s hard to believe that he might still need a huge contract at this point, but then again I can’t imagine what his bills look like. So maybe he DOES need the money.

    Anyway, interesting to see how he is trying to sell that stuff to the public and himself. But then again, Bryant always knew it all…….LOL.

  • hashzz

    billionaire owners, millionaire athletes….and people b***h about the millionaire taking a paycut? the Lakers aren’t hurting for $$. They’re sending him out proper. They aren’t paying him according to market value, they’re paying him what he is worth to THEM.

  • pposse

    the only thing i want to know is why in the world would the lakers extend his deal two more years before he even stepped back on the bball court? Anything can happen 3 yrs from now, there is especially no guarantee that kobe will be playing this yr next yr and the yr afer.

  • LakeShow

    It’s pretty laughable to think, a guy, who dedicates himself to being a top 10 all time talent in basketball over 20 years of sustained success, doesn’t care about winning… LOL kinda laughable.

    99% of players would have retired after his injury, at his age, with his accomplishments.

    People act like he should have made it so the Lakers could get two
    max contracts, but who would they get with two max contracts in the next year? No one worth it that I can think of. Better to just get the best available max player and get two solid role players and a few tag-alongs for cheap.

    I would love it if the Lakers could get Andre Miller as one of those role players. He would be perfect for the style of play they should use. I don’t know what his contract situation is though.

  • bike

    This is all Dwight’s fault.

  • LakeShow

    Watch Mitch Kup’s press conference.

    Or I can sum it up quickly.

    He’s seen KB on the court since before the China trip. That’s right, on the basketball court taking shots and doing basic drills over a month ago. He said that what he has seen from him, and the improvement to his health, gives him all the certainty in the world. Kobe CAN play right now, but he is waiting another week it sounds like.

  • shockexchange

    “but [not] caring about winning is not a rational conclusion” <—- Is this what you meant to say?

  • pposse

    that level of trust is bold. Im not saying he won’t finish out his contract, but when they look at their own roster and see an aging steve nash who is not looking like he will be able to play out his contrac..its surprising that the front office would make that same type of decision again.

  • LakeShow

    I think that level of trust was built more in the first 17 seasons than this last summer.

    Why would it be surprising?

    Did Steve Nash make the Lakers over a billion dollars?

    Kobe’s contract is half expectation/half thank you.

    They don’t want Nash to play out his contract, they were just being nice when they said they didn’t want him to retire.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    There’s always going to be the people who crucify you no matter what decision you make. Anybody who even dares to question this man’s dedication and hunger for the game and commitment to winning needs to reevaluate their understanding of a “winning mentality”.

  • pposse

    its only surprising from a basketball stand pt. The guy hasn’t played yet, is 36 yrs old and has to come back from a historically debilitating injury (for someone of that age to have).

    When you take into account the business side it all makes sense which is fine. I doubt anyone wants Nash to play out his contract, but if Nash is taking Kobe’s advice he will stick around and get his $$.

  • Cortez Mack

    Yes. Thanks.

    In some regards, his on court approach is not the one I would take. He has a similar issue that a lot of extremely talented people have. Lack of understanding or the ability to work with people with lesser talent and physical gifts [but have something valuable to offer].

    but I know one thing…

    If I go into a gunfight with him and we get massacred, when they come collect the evidence, his guns are going to be completely empty. That means something to me.

  • i_ball

    Totally agree with Kobe. Taking less is kind of like flopping you cheat in order to win.

    I know he deserves it but at the end of the contract he will be 39. The Lakers are overpaying for him and I totally understand that. For example I’m really happy that the Spurs resigned Ginobili but the contract they offered him is too big.

    I don’t agree with the both contracts from a pragmatic stand point. But basketball basketball is about more things than money. And some franchises take care of their own. That’s what separates them from the rest. LAL – the best franchise of all time, SAS – the best franchise in the last 15 years imo. Take a note Boston!

  • Cortez Mack

    Plus, MP is not relying on his eyes only. The Lakers have an extensive medical and training staff available giving them the best medical advice possible.

    Bryant is not simply showing up to a empty court, shooting some stand still jumpshots, then unilaterally saying “All righty guys, everything is hunky dory! Give me my money!”

  • berkamore

    “He has a similar issue that a lot of extremely talented people have.
    Lack of understanding or the ability to work with lesser talent and
    physical gifts.”

    Bryant in a nutshell. The guy is a highly skilled worker but no leader. Leaders understand that sometimes you have to do less to develop your people (or team).

    And you actually end up getting more done overall by doing less yourself. But then again, it takes a certain way of thinking. LOL.

  • shockexchange

    Unless you have “exceptionally more talent than your adversaries,” you would definitely get massacred going into a gunfight with Horry Jr.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i don’t understand why anyone ever questioned Kobe’s thirst to win. That’s what has always driven that dude. He just wants to win his way is the only caveat. And he doesn’t see (or at least won’t admit) when he can’t do as much.
    my issue with this is, and always has been,
    Nobody is even trying to protect Bryant from himself. When he doesn’t even come close to winning his 6th in the next 2 years, when he goes back and reflects, don’t you think he’ll at least understand that winning required a sacrifice from himself? The Lakers have basically become a bunch of “yes men” to Kobe Bryant. Nobody around there (they didn’t even negotiate with him for goodness sake) seems to have the balls to say what needs to be said. And it sucks. I want to see Kobe Bryant and LeBron in a finals more than just about anything match up wise, but now i feel like that is next to never going to happen.

  • Cortez Mack


    However, I think that applies to damn near everyone throughout the history of basketball.

  • shockexchange

    SE has a saying for moments like this, “Thy doth protest too much.”

  • robb

    People who say Kobe doesn’t care about winning are hopeless. They either imbeciles or trolls. People hates it when a person is capable of getting exactly what he wants. Kobe shouldn’t waste a second answering to those idiots.

  • robb


  • Cortez Mack

    I remember an interview during the Bryant/ONeal 3peat.

    The question was centered around around Bryant’s unwillingness to sacrifice. He said that he played exactly how Jackson wanted him to play. Bryant said that Jackson knew that ONeal would show up out of shape, and not ready to go from day 1, so Bryant should carry the team until ONeal played his way into game shape.

    He said that he was explicitly asked to tone his game down for ONeal once he got back into shape over the course of the season, which he says he did. Bryant said that Oneal’s lack of dedication to [physical excellence] was a problem for him. He also said that he had personal goals to achieve in the game (both individual and team) as a professional.

    Not that I would take his exact approach, but…

    If I knew that I spent more time than you in a maniacal attempt to perfect my craft (basketball) then I would certainly trust myself, more than someone I see not working as hard as I am everyday, to get the job done come gametime. If that means I am taking some shots that are under duress, ok, so what? I have unquestionable put in the work. I am betting on myself, guaranteed.

    For better or worse, his way has been working.

    …and this theoretical “selfless” basketball player has yet to be seen (winning at a high(er) clip, that is).

  • Cortez Mack

    That was not a “protest”.

    The comment was indeed funny.

    …and I sort of agreed with you.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Yes, his way has been working. But Father Time is the one who creates “has beens” …. Which is the whole problem here. That sh*t won’t work forever.

  • Cortez Mack

    I am not as big a fan as you, I guess. I do not personally need it to go on forever. He did his thing, well.

    Plus, I like his approach.

    Not coincidentally, I liked the end of Braveheart too.

    Yeah, William Wallace could have said what the king wanted to hear, lived on for the moment, then even planned his next uprising after he got off of that rack.

    But, he decided to say, “F*ck you, chump. I’m going out on my own terms”.

    His message was sent, loud and clear. Even though he technically “lost”. The look in the king’s face said it all.

    Some guys simply are not cut from the 2nd fiddle cloth.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    2nd fiddle cloth aka some people are just stubborn? Accepting reality is all that this is about. If living in denial is commendable is what you are implying on purpose then that’s fine, but it seems like you aren’t really looking at this from anything but a romantic(ish) perspective.
    Only in sports

  • Cortez Mack

    “2nd fiddle cloth aka some people are just stubborn?”

    Maybe so.

    ..wait, I do not even know what this is supposed to mean. Is he too stubborn to know he should be a 2nd fiddle?

    The starting premise is that he is not going to be a 2nd fiddle in the first place.

    “If living in denial is commendable is what you are implying.”

    Denial of what? That he needs help? He publicly says that. He simply is not begging some other megastar to come save him and let him tag along (playing 2nd fiddle) for a chance at another championship.

    If that is “denial” then, ok, he is in denial.

  • Cortez Mack

    “I don’t agree with the both contracts from a pragmatic stand point. ”

    I do. It is very pragmatic They can MORE than afford it. The contracts are a message to the rest of the league (agents and players).

    Dominate in LA, be an valuable asset to LA and we will not toss you out like a horny old man looking for the next hot thing. The contract is an attempt at the long view recruiting tactic.

    Will it work? Who knows. But I know one thing. this happens in the business world all the time and remember how free agents avoid the Bulls for years even though they had loads of cash?

    The reason was they treated their aging players like ex-girlfriends.

  • i_ball

    You are right but given the current situation they could have given him a fair contract at say 30 mil / 2 years and it would still send the right message. No need to overpay.

    Speaking of overpaying, I guess Carmelo is signing a max deal next summer

  • Jerome

    It’s funny how people are blowing this out of proportion. It was an intentional move to get the LAkers into the spotlight more than they have been in the past few days. Who cares if they overpay Kobe. It’s not like owners even notice $48 million when they are billionaires. If Kobe doesn’t perform and the organization isn’t able to get a big FA in the summer the criticism is warranted.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    It’s not about him needing to be a second fiddle that’s not what I’m saying at all.
    It’s about how much he is worth as a player.
    And under those rules, he is not worth what he is being paid, strictly as a player.
    As I’ve said numerous times, my point of view is strictly focused on winning. I understand every other reason for giving and signing that contract.
    Is this clear enough for you yet?

  • Bruno Buckeye

    Yes, but his salary will have an impact on the ability of the Lakers to built a competitive team around him. The new CBA helps prevent teams from putting a a team together from simply outspending everyone else. Fans should not blame Kobe though. Lakers management blew this one.

  • Cortez Mack

    “And under those rules, he is not worth what he is being paid, strictly as a player.”

    According to who, you? Pshaw! You need that GM job, badly.

    Moving on…

    The question was what was he in denial or being stubborn about, remember?

    So, he is stubborn, or in denial, about what he is worth? That makes even less sense. The Lakers made him an offer, pitched their business and basketball plans, and he accepted.

    Maybe you do know better than the Lakers management staff. You have dedicated a lot of your life to studying these matters from your armchair.

    …but somehow, I doubt it.

    “And under those rules, he is not worth what he is being paid, strictly as a player.”

    I did not know the salary cap rules outlined what someone is worth as a player. I will defer to your expertise though. Bryant really did pull a coup!

    “As I’ve said numerous times, my point of view is strictly focused on winning.”

    Good for you but no one is questioning your view. If I was questioning anything, it would be the conclusions you are drawing from your view.

    “Is this clear enough for you yet?”

    No, apparently not. Continue, please.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Nah, I’m good. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

  • Cortez Mack

    “Nah, I’m good. ”

    No you are not, but we will pretend.

    “Have a happy Thanksgiving.”

    I will have an adequate Thursday. Thanks for the sentiment.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Lol I think you may need to meditate. Or cut down a tree. Whatever it is Canadians do to relax.

  • SirGrey

    I hope this makes Sam Presti feel more like sh*t for what he did with Harden.

  • Cortez Mack


    I thought you were good? I knew you were not. Anyhoo…

    “Lol I think you may need to meditate. ”

    Pot, meet kettle.

    Hi, Pot!

    …wait, I used that one yesterday.

    Besides, this is my meditation. Thanks.

    “Or cut down a tree. Whatever it is Canadians do to relax.”

    Apparently, they smoke crack while in drunken stupors.

    Happy Hanukkah!

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Lol that was a joke champ

  • Chuck Johnson

    Kobe’s right. He’s taking a principled stand and refusing to take less money which would only line Jimmy Buss’ pockets even further. HOWEVER, since the Lakers will probably limit themselves to avoid paying the tax (or at least minimize how much of the tax they’ll pay), Kobe isn’t so much taking money out of Jim Buss’ pockets, he is taking money out of his future teammates’ pockets. And since there will be less money to go around, in all likelihood the teammates he ends up with will be worse (especially if they follow Kobe’s lead and refuse to take less than the think they are worse) which means he’s less likely to win a championship.

  • Cortez Mack

    What was a joke? You being “good”?

    That is apparent.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Haha are you ok?

  • Cortez Mack

    No, send help! Pronto.

  • candlewood jay

    Seriously you need to get out of your basement and socialize with other people..

  • grgeblck

    true. he shouldn’t. he’s kobe bryant.


    Celtics fan, but have respect for Bean, however…
    Could have took a paycut, still made millions from exterior means, Lakers could have had room for more talent.
    But didn’t…

  • JL

    It’s the team’s responsibility to pay the players the right amount (it’s their money after all). If they wanted to pay less, they should have negotiated. Clearly they didn’t. If fact they probably would have paid more. Kobe said he didn’t even negotiate. You know you messed up when you are negotiating a price the other party just takes it without question. Who doesn’t negotiate the highest salary they can? In Kobe’s case he didn’t even negotiate.

  • north

    I find it odd that he cares so much what random people on twitter think. Delicate psyche. It’s too bad he can’t just play ball and not get into this stuff. He’s got the money, the best thing he can do to make people believe it’s worth while is not to whine about it but to get back on the court and prove them wrong.

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