Kobe Bryant has been very vocal in educating the public about the business of the NBA from a player’s point of view, while encouraging players to value their worth. Bryant told LakersNation.com before his $48.5 million contract extension that the majority of athletes feel uncomfortable putting on what he refers to as a “business hat,” as many are afraid of the public backlash they’ll receive.
On the other hand, the NBA isn’t in a position where a smart business deal is met with public outcry and personal backlash about caring about money over winning championships. As such, Bryant took to Twitter a week ago, making a point about the NBA’s new TV deal (worth over $2 billion annually) in relation to players being “encouraged” to take less money:
Players are "encouraged" per new CBA to take less to win or risk being called selfish+ungrateful while nbatv deal goes UP by a BILLION #biz
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) October 7, 2014
After practice today, Bryant expanded on that tweet, saying that in many cases players are expected to take “substantially less than their market value” to win championships and that although it’s very easy to look at the salaries of elite athletes and compare that to the market average, there is something very important that gets overlooked:
We don’t look at what the owners get paid or how much revenue they generate off the backs of these players,” Bryant explains while emphasizing that the new TV deal is coming off the back of a lockout.
In our video above, Bryant talks about why athletes need to fight for their market value, despite admitting that both athletes and owners are overpaid. Bryant also predicts that the owners will likely try to lock the players out again, which is one of the reasons why it’s important to educate the public rather then be intimidated by public perception. Plus, Bryant explains what his contract says about the Los Angeles Lakers organization.[divide]
VIDEO: Kobe Bryant On The Business Of The NBA, BEFORE His Contract Extension