Kobe Bryant signs with Lakers through 2013-14
Kobe Bryant signed a three-year extension to stay under contract through 2013-14 with the Lakers, the only team he has ever known in his NBA career.
Bryant was already under contract this season and next season for a total of $47.8 million before the extension would kick into gear. Financial details of the extension were not immediately available.
Bryant, 31, will be eight weeks shy of his 36th birthday when his new extension reaches its end.
“We are extremely pleased that we were able to reach an agreement and come to terms on the extension at this time,” Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. “Kobe has been a cornerstone of the Lakers for well over a decade, helping to lead us to four NBA championships and in the process developing into one of the greatest players in basketball history.”
The 12-time All-Star and the Lakers had casually been negotiating the extension, though there had been some thought that Bryant would not sign because he hoped to keep his options open, among them the unlikely possibility that a new collective-bargaining agreement would be more favorable to high-salaried players if it got renegotiated in 2011.
Bryant won his first regular-season MVP award in 2008 and his first NBA Finals MVP in 2009.
The Lakers signed forward-center Pau Gasol to a three-year, $57-million extension last December, a move that also kept him with the team through 2013-14.
“Two of our main goals heading into this season were to sign Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol to contract extensions,” Kupchak said. “With the signing of Pau earlier this season and the signing of Kobe today, we were able to accomplish those goals, helping to keep the core of this team intact for the foreseeable future and in turn help to ensure the franchise’s continued success over the years to come.”
-- Mike Bresnahan
Photo: Kobe Bryant. Credit: Derick Hingle, U.S. Presswire.