Monday, November 15th, 2010 at 12:00 pm  |  39 responses

Kobe Bryant: ‘Owners Need to Look in the Mirror’

Perhaps with a little prodding from a certain influential teammate, Bryant becomes the first superstar to speak forcefully on the subject of major salary reduction that team owners are pushing for during labor talks (Hmmm, wonder how Jerry Buss feels about this?). CBS Sports has the report: “With labor talks reaching a critical stage between now and the All-Star break, Kobe Bryant  weighed in for the first time Sunday night with some strong words for NBA owners. ‘I think the owners need to look in the mirror,’ Bryant told CBSSports.com when asked about the $750 million to $800 million reduction in player salaries being sought by the owners. ‘They need to make the right judgment themselves and stop trying to force us players to be the ones to make adjustments. They’ve got to look in the mirror and decide what they want to do with the sport, and we as employees will show up and do what we’ve got to do.’ Bryant, the highest-paid player in the league under what is likely to be his final contract, is scheduled to join Michael Jordan as the league’s only $30 million players in the final year of the deal in 2013-14. Asked where he stands in the labor dispute that could be more punitive to stars like Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose – who likely won’t get new contracts until a new CBA is in place – Bryant said, ‘I’m going to fight for our players.’”

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  • theedit

    Eh? Michael Jordan? Erm, sorry to break the bad news…

    ‘Bryant, the highest-paid player in the league under what is likely to be his final contract, is scheduled to join Michael Jordan as the league’s only $30 million players in the final year of the deal in 2013-14.’

  • http://masterx1983@hotmail.com marchalmadness

    don’t worry, your stacked anyway KOBE

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    The Voice of Reason

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Well said, Kobe.

  • slamfan4life

    Jordan got 30 in 97 and 35 in in 98

  • coolbreez

    yea players making way too much dough, half of these scrubs dont even want to play defense let alone play team ball

    and the owners are greedy slimey bastards who want to get fat off of other peoples sweat. in the end the one who looses out in all of this is the people who actually pay for all this in the first place………the fan

  • max

    some of these players don’t even want basketball to be a full-time job, they rather stop anywhere before the 44min mark… you know…so they can rest and… play better at some other point… like when their fans start to fan up…

  • http://www.slamonline.com NickthaQuick

    Lol @ Max. Why work fulltime when you can work part time and get paid just the same?

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Kobe should have just asked, how much is darkos contract?

  • http://Www.slamonline.com B-more Mike

    Get em Max!!! So quick 2 talk about how many shots he takes, talk about him going 2 bat for the players!!! Y’all herbs don’t wanna read that.

  • http://ijustwantmynametolookbig.com Chukaz

    the problem is that star players shouldn’t have to make less money. star players r the reason ppl care about basketball

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    Kobe’s talking sense while some of you are being silly.

  • EJ

    NBA players are making way too much money, but if their salaries get cut, where does the money go? To the owners, and they’re WAY too rich already.

  • Heals

    From a loyal C’s fan: Preach on Kobe…

  • onlyclipsfanonslam

    The owners are right. The owners are willing to pay players like Kobe incredible amounts of money. The problem is the Travis Outlaw’s and Wesley Matthews’ of the world. Overpaying average players is what the owners are trying to stop.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    ^^^^^^hey dingus, did those guys make up their own contract? Or did an owner offer them a contract?

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    co-sign Tarzan. If I pay Apple $150 for iPod Nano and cry about how expensive it was, who’s fault is it?

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    ^ Capitalism’s.

  • onlyclipsfanonslam

    hey both of you dingai (plural for dingus? we can debate this later). The soft cap is killing the league. There are a lot of new owners since the last CBA. They are unhappy with the way things are. Think about it; the older owners have made up (if not already getting nothing but profit), their investment on the teams. New owners have bought into the NBA with a much higher investment. Now the yields will be much smaller unless there is salary reduction. This isn’t rocket science people, when a big company is bought out, many times it is the mid-level management that suffers, as they aren’t important enough to the company, and are not that much more valuable than the employees below them. It is how business has been run for years get used to it.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/32JSE Yesse

    Kobe got a point! I’m glad somebody brought this up. I bet other players will be happy to join him.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    @clipsfan, I have no problem with a hard cap (or taxing higher on a current soft cap) but I find it ridiculous that the owners are saying they’re losing money in the same months we’ve seen contracts for Darko, Conley, and Joe Johnson (along with the ones you mentioned)

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    I had a really long post not show up. So I made a shorter, but still long, post. And that one didnt show up either. Awesome stuff slam/wordpress!!!!! Stern is lying, tv deal is richest ever, season tickets are highest ever, merch sales are up, games were played in europe. But somehow the league is losing money? Total bs. ….. And even if the league were losing money, why should it be all on the players to change that? The owners own a business, a profit isnt guaranteed, and thats what they want.

  • onlyclipsfanonslam

    @huey I brought up the difference between new owners and old owners. Old owners are probably not losing money since their initial investment was small compared to a new owners investment. This really has nothing to do with who deserves more money (players vs owners) this is simply business. The problem with the soft cap, and especially the MLE, is that teams that can afford to pay a little extra for average players will do so. This leaves out the team that are fiscally conservative. Thus, the MLE is driving the price of players higher. Lastly, there are 3 main expenditures that owners have. Stadium lease, player salaries, and executive salaries. Two of these are contractually binding (lease and player salaries). Do not think for one second that the ownership will not try to renegotiate terms of the stadium lease when it is time for a new contract. The CBA is coming up, and of course the owners want to renegotiate things. It’s just business, plain and simple

  • onlyclipsfanonslam

    @tarzan the comment about owners knowing the risks of business is very hypocritical. Players know the risk of being employed by the NBA as well. Just like you and I, or any working American out there, we know that at any moment we are at risk of losing our jobs, or being subject to a pay cut. If your boss requests you to take a pay cut, what options do you have? Leave the company or take a pay cut. So players that are upset have the same option. Leave the NBA or take a pay cut. Again, just business

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    IMO Kobe isn’t saying much – what does it mean that owners need to look in the mirror? Shouldn’t players do the same? An ‘easy’ way for owners to ‘save’ money without the players having to take a pay cut is if the contracts were NOT guranteed. That way a player who is not performing can simply be cut from the team. Also, a player who is ‘overperforming’ could renegotiate a contract similar to how many NFL players do. This kind of system allows stars to continue to be paid like stars and also allows owners to cut ‘bad investments’. Also maybe getting rid of any salary minimums would allow owners more flexibility without hampering star salary potential. The economy is a shell of what it used to be and it makes sense that players feel the same pressures of it as any other employees of any other company – the owners are dealing with these economic issues as part of running a business and looking at employee salaries is not an ‘unusual’ or unfair tactic. To me it’s not about rich vs poor or rich vs richer, it’s about owner and employee. In this case, the owners have every right to re-negotiate salaries and considering the economy I have a hard time supportig the employee perspective.

  • paul

    It’s amazing how people say “just business”, as if that explained anything, or justified anything.

    Also, the complaints about the money being made by scrubs are kindof amazing. These ‘scrubs’ are the ones who likely won’t be in the league for long and wouldn’t be in the league at all if they weren’t amazing basketball players in their own right. I think they darn well deserve to make a little money.

  • Blackphantom

    Great point made by Kobe

  • KB8toSG8

    When owners are willing to hand out ridiculous contracts to Conely and the rest, they better shut up and look at themselves in the mirror. After all, they were the one who handed out the contracts. Preach on Kobe….Maybe reduce salaries after the existing contracts end. That makes a lot more sense.

  • Clos1881

    Your worth whatever someone is willing to pay you!! How can anyone say someone makes to much money, alot of owners just make bad decisions. Players shouldn’t have to take a pay cut because owners don’t know how to spend their money.

  • JC

    who are we to stop owners from being stupid like paying Conley 45M ? No one stick a gun to Heisley’s head asking him to sing Conley. if you think player are making ridiculous money, let other teams to sign them. no one forces you to be an idiot.

  • flipnoycef

    This maybe the first time I can agree with KOBE! KOBE, while you’re at it can you also let those owners know that most of us fans that like to watch the game LIVE would also like to see some cut on those ticket price! thank you. There should be some type of performance plan to those guys that are making way too much and are underperformance. EDDY CURRY for example,just a thought!

  • flipnoycef

    While this is still a hot TOPIC, HOW about those college ballers get some type of payment for playing for their respective team. It’s only fitting since these college campuses are making a killing but their players are the one’s that are suffering out there trying to kill each other on the field!


    I’m looking forward to seeing what comes out of the big CBA meeting this Thursday with Stern, Silver, Hunter, and Fisher. *fingers crossed*

  • rikson

    “star players r the reason ppl care about basketball” -> that is the most media-driven BS I have read on here! And if thats the reason you care about bball – shame on you! Wages should be reduced… They earn way too much right now! Plus the owners dont care what players have to say… they pay your check kobe!

  • rikson

    There is a difference between rich and wealthy..! Shaq is rich… The guy, who pays his check is wealthy! – Chris Rock

  • Harlem_World

    The league is running a regular season back to back in London in March this year. The ticket prices are being sold through ticketmaster for $600-850 for decent seats. The arena holds 20,000 and will sell out like the pre-season games. This is on ticket sales alone, not including local sponsorships, merchandising, media rights etc. You do the math. The players are the visible, in your face, targets who are positioned in the front line for us all to take our anger out on for the rising cost of living in a downward economy. The owners and the league are making SERIOUS money. You don’t need to be a genius to understand any league that pays Mike Conley 45M or Joe Johnson 123M is not in as bad a shape as they say. They’re using the economy as an opportunity to make more money for the owners, by claiming they are broke which we, the people, can relate to right now. It’s all bullshick.

  • ab40

    darko had 12 13 5 and 2 last night he’s ok. he should just mention new york. if all those problems would ocur in let’s say charlotte that team would be out of the leauge and relocated. the knicks franchise is really bad.

  • http://juanm.garcia@comcast.net Flashback

    What suckers! Both sides are posing for an upcoming negotiaition with threat of a lock out, mind you, and all you fools here argue about is which side is right. The real suckers here are the fans who are the ones who pay both the owner and the player.

  • SpamsLots

    It’s the owners’ own damn fault that they overpay the crappy players. Nothing in the current CBA forces them to make all these bad deals. And having the a new CBA with lower salaries in general just means they’ll overpay bad players EVEN MORE in proportion to how much the great players get paid. Don’t feel sorry for the fans either – we have plenty of other ways to be entertained, and sports is just entertainment. In the end, business will go on as usual and there will just be bad press about greedy people – even though greed is what makes capitalism, and America, work.