Kobe Bryant defends contract extension with the Lakers
Kobe Bryant signed a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers Monday, keeping him with the team through the 2015-2016 season. Since then, he's faced criticism that it was a selfish move on his part, because he hasn't proven himself since his Achilles injury.
Bryant took to Twitter Tuesday night to defend his contract extension.
Essentially, he's arguing that it's unjustified to call him "selfish," because the only reason the money matters is because of a salary cap. That cap is the result of NBA owners, who locked out the league for the right to implement the cap.
He had a similar message Tuesday night before his game against the Washington Wizards, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski:
"Most of us have aspirations for being businessmen when our playing careers are over," Bryant told Yahoo Sports in a corridor of the Verizon Center. "But that starts now. You have to be able to wear both hats. You can't sit up there and say, 'Well, I'm going to take substantially less because there's public pressure, because all of a sudden, if you don't take less, you don't give a crap about winning. That's total [expletive]."
Bryant is already the franchise leader in games played (1,239), steals (1,828), points (31,617) and most offense-related categories. He also ranks third in rebounds and assists.
And according to L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina, Bryant didn't even negotiate with the Lakers; he signed the extension with the first number that the team offered.