You’ve probably seen the quote from United States Men’s National Soccer Coach Jürgen Klinsmann to the New York Times. Well, just in case …
“This always happens in America. Kobe Bryant, for example — why does he get a two-year contract extension for $50 million? Because of what he is going to do in the next two years for the Lakers? Of course not. Of course not. He gets it because of what he has done before. It makes no sense. Why do you pay for what has already happened?”
Shots fired, right? Well Kobe Bryant responded in an interview with ESPN, and his reaction shocked me with how un-Kobe-like it sounded.
“I thought it was pretty funny. I thought it was pretty comical actually. I see his perspective. But the one perspective that he’s missing from an ownership point of view is that you want to be part of an ownership group that is rewarding its players for what they’ve done while balancing the team going forward. If you’re another player in the future and you’re looking at the Lakers organization, you want to be a part of an organization that takes care of its players while at the same time planning for the future. Jurgen is a coach, a manager. He’s not a GM or owner of the franchise. When you look at it from that perspective, it changes a little bit. But you probably could have used another player as an example.”
Very good point, Mr. Mamba. There’s a big difference between re-signing a franchise player in the NBA and selecting players for the World Cup. That doesn’t take a sporting genius to see, but I didn’t expect Kobe to be so reasonable about it. Way to defy your ultra-aggressive persona by laughing it off and providing clarity.
Kind of related: Kobe played some pick-up soccer in Brazil.
Images via Getty. [h/t Los Angeles Daily News]