The Los Angeles Lakers and 35-year-old Kobe Bryant agreed upon a two-year contract extension on Monday that makes the guard a Laker through the 2015-16 season, but terms of the deal were not announced by the team.
"This is a very happy day for Lakers fans and for the Lakers organization," general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a news release. "We've said all along that our priority and hope was to have Kobe finish his career as a Laker, and this should ensure that that happens. To play 20 years in the NBA, and to do so with the same team, is unprecedented, and quite an accomplishment. Most importantly however, it assures us that one of the best players in the world will remain a Laker, bringing us excellent play and excitement for years to come."
Bryant, who makes $30.5 million this season, would have been a free agent this summer if he did not come to terms with the Lakers. As a max contract candidate, it is possible Bryant takes a pay cut in his extension to help the financially strapped Lakers fill in the roster with talent around him. Aside from Bryant, only point guard Steve Nash, guard Nick Young and big man Robert Sacre are signed beyond the 2013-14 season.
Bryant has yet to return from his torn Achilles but last season averaged 27.3 points, 6.0 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game.