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Signed, Sealed and Delivered – Kobe Bryant To Remain A Laker For Life

Note from author: First off, I’d like to say I’m excited to be back writing for Last Word On Sports. It’s been a while since my last article and with the off-season and life being a bit busy towards the end of year, I haven’t had a chance to write yet. But with more time freeing up, I’m happy to say I will be writing much more frequently. Thanks to all the loyal readers of Last Word On Sports and everyone who takes the time to read these articles; it really does mean a lot.

News from the Lakers camp this morning emerged that the organization and their franchise player veteran superstar, Kobe Bryant, have put pen to paper with a deal that keeps Bryant as a Laker right through until the 2015-2016 season. The deal will see Bryant earn roughly $48.5 million over the two additional seasons he will play while also potentially making him the longest player to play on one single team in the history of the NBA (John Stockton currently holds the record for nineteen seasons with Utah Jazz).

Surprisingly, it was Lebron James of the Miami Heat who said it best in this morning’s media flurry of opinion and comments from players, experts, journalists and fans; “Kobe has paid his dues. Nobody can argue with anything he gets on anything”. He’s right. A man who has given his life to an organization, won five championships with that team and been the poster-child for an entire city deserves every single one of those $48.5 million dollars he is earning, regardless of the fact that his glory days are over and we are witnessing his twilight years before our very eyes.

Mixed opinions have arisen from so many different people involved with the NBA; people shocked at the excessive pay-cheque just for somebody to finish their career with a franchise, fans on both sides of the spectrum: angry that this all but eliminates the opportunity to pick up a superstar in next season’s highly anticipated free agency or ecstatic that their favorite player will remain a Laker for another few years, and then there’s the Lakers organization who are having to justify an action that they simply should not have to justify. Mitch Kupchak stated: “This is a very happy day for our fans and for the organization. We have said all along that our priority and hope was for Kobe to finish his career as a Laker and this should ensure that that happens”. The man himself, the obviously over-the-moon Black Mamba, posted on Twitter a picture of the contract with the caption ‘#lakerforlife’.

Admittedly, as a die-hard Lakers fan it’s a little scary to think that the largest portion of our salary for the next few years has gone to Bryant with such huge-names coming up in the free-agency. That’s not to say I’d have it anyway however. There is still room to sign one superstar next season, possibly Carmello Anthony. Lebron will not come to the Lakers, let’s let that fantasy finally die-out. But by signing Anthony (should Carmello want to play second-best to Kobe for the first couple of years in purple and gold), the Lakers could also sign someone like Bledsoe to an already incredibly strong roster. So don’t rule out the team not making a strong march in the free-agency next year even with Kobe’s massive contract.

Kupchak was right; this is a great day for Lakers fans and the organization as a whole. Kobe deserves this, he has earnt this and what a career from such an outstanding athlete. I for one, cannot wait to see him don purple and gold for the first-time since tearing his ACL in the dying stages of last season. The only thing I want to know now is who he’s going to make pay for the time he sat on the bench, what team he is going to take all that built-out frustration on and can he take his city to the championship parade one more time?


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