Kobe is down in Brazil taking in all things World Cup, but took time to sit down for an interview with ESPN, one of the main things he was asked about were some jabs about his contract from Team USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
When news broke weeks prior of Landon Donovan not making the World Cup team, Klinsmann got rather defensive and used Kobe as a metaphor:
“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?”
Kobe was all laughs though, while in town to root on the Klinsmann coached team, he stated:
“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.”
One would have to agree Klinsmann wasn’t at all wrong in his analysis, it is Klinsmann’s job to make sure his best players of NOW are on the team. Emotions in sports are a dangerous combo, but if anything Klinsmann simply shouldn’t worry about how much Kobe makes, comes off a little Petty Crocker-ish.
Surely though, it’s not the first time someone’s called Kobe overpaid. He’ll just laugh to the bank.