It’s always sad to see players end their careers in different places after a storied run. Kobe Bryant has no doubt been on a storied run with the Los Angeles Lakers over the past 17 years. But after some minor speculation on what the legendary shooting guard might do in free agency next season, the Lakers have decided to essentially lock Bryant up for life. Kobe signed a two-year extension with the Lakers on Monday, which all but guarantees him of finishing his career in L.A.
There are going to be lots of thoughts each way on the re-signing. There’s a solid argument to be made for Bryant being too old and too risky following Achilles surgery this past spring. But clearly, the Lakers have seen enough in him over the past few months to know that he has one more run in him. Two years is the perfect amount of time, however, the $48 million that they’re paying him, is no doubt on the high side.
It seems unlikely that another team would have payed him anywhere near that amount, but the Lakers obviously didn’t want to take any chances.
It’s now clear that L.A. is going to build around Bryant for the short-term and see what happens. You have to think they’ll go after a big name like Carmelo Anthony next summer, but the question would then become – how many other pieces can they afford to add?
I don’t know if I like the Lakers’ title chances over the next two years, but I do like the idea of Bryant playing his entire career for one team. This move is a throwback move (minus the large amount of money). The Lakers are telling Kobe he’s still their guy, even though he’s 35 and coming off of surgery. It’s the right move for many reasons in the short-term, but it’s definitely not a long-term answer. However, would you expect anything else from the Lakers?