Kobe Bryant's Contract Extension Honors His Legacy -- But What About the Lakers' Future? | The Informer | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

Kobe Bryant's Contract Extension Honors His Legacy -- But What About the Lakers' Future?

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Wed, Nov 27, 2013 at 9:22 AM

click to enlarge Kobe Bryant: the Lakers' $48.5 million man
  • Kobe Bryant: the Lakers' $48.5 million man
"Sentimentality is the only sentiment that rubs you the wrong way." - W. Somerset Maugham.

"U obviously can't count or read. Let's try this again. The offer presented to me by the Lakers ensures the ability to bring in max talent. #imjusttryintohelpuout lol #dontbslow #keepup #ringsbeforeall." - Kobe Bryant on Instagram.

It's never too early to start thinking about what farewell gift you're going to get Kobe. Monday's announcement of a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension means that the countdown starts now for the Black Mamba's last attack. What do you buy the man who's grossed a quarter-billion dollars in basketball income alone? A Milanese futbol franchise? An authentic Easter Island statue re-carved in Kobe's mold? A "Thanks for the Memories" card penned in Smush Parker's blood?

The bar is high. During his 1988-89 last lap, Kareem Abdul-Jabber received Persian rugs, portable telephones, flutes, saxophones, jukeboxes, rifles, rattlesnake hats, cruises, VCRs and elephant sculptures made out of petrified wood -- and that was just from the other teams. The final Lakers sacrifice included a Rolls Royce, first class tickets to Orlando and a street named after him in Inglewood. The team's beloved late owner, Jerry Buss, bestowed "The Captain" with a tennis court at his Hawaiian home.

With the money earned in this extension, Kobe Bryant will be able to buy 970 tennis courts or 147 more Ferraris, 142 more helicopters, 12 more purple 8 carat diamonds or three more Orange County fortresses of solitude. That's not even touching the Forbes-estimated $34 million in endorsement money he made last year.

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