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.'”