With a massive summer in the fold for the Lakers upcoming, item number one on their list was retaining their superstar and franchise star in Kobe Bryant.
Consider it mission accomplished.
Bryant and the Lakers agreed to a two-year contract extension today, with terms of the deal still undisclosed. The contract will likely be Bryant’s last, making it a 20-year career for the Lower Merion High product.
“This is a very happy day for Lakers fans and for the Lakers organization,” said Kupchak in a press release from the Lakers. “We’ve said all along that our priority and hope was to have Kobe finish his career as a Laker, and this should ensure that that happens. To play 20 years in the NBA, and to do so with the same team, is unprecedented, and quite an accomplishment. Most importantly however, it assures us that one of the best players in the world will remain a Laker, bringing us excellent play and excitement for years to come.”
Bryant was eligible for over a $30 million dollar contract figure per year. While the Black Mamba originally stated he wouldn’t take a pay cut, it was seen as a negotiating ploy. Nevertheless, we don’t know the exact amount of Bryant’s contract, which will have a big impact on next summer’s cap flexibility.