The announcement of Kobe Bryant’s two year extension was met with mixed reactions. While many fans were excited about Bryant remaining with the Lakers for another two years, others were disappointed at how much they paid Bryant, and how it could impact the Lakers chances at bringing in another elite free agent.
While he is no longer with the Lakers in an official role, Phil Jackson’s voice does hold a lot of weight in Los Angeles. Jackson appeared on NBA TV and, as the OC Register’s Bill Oram reports, agrees with most of the fans:
On NBA TV, Phil Jackson says he agreed with extending Kobe for two years but that the Lakers “paid him more than I would have gone for.“
— Bill Oram (@bill_oram) January 30, 2014
While it is true that the Lakers did make a sizable dent in their cap space with this extension, this is Kobe Bryant we’re talking about. His impact on the Lakers franchise is worth far more than the Lakers could ever pay him.
Bryant could have taken less money, but, as he said on twitter, it should not always be on the player to make the sacrifice. The Lakers still have ample cap space to bring in players, and have been linked to big-name guys such as Timberwolves forward Kevin Love, and Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving.
Jackson is never afraid to voice his opinion on any topic, and he and Bryant remain close friends to this day so him speaking on Bryant should come as no surprise.
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