Jim Buss on Kobe extension: 'This was a Buss family decision'

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Lakers exec says Bryant's extension was about loyalty.

As you've no doubt heard by now, the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant agreed to a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension on Monday. Lakers executive vice-president of player personnel Jim Buss said that it was an easy decision, one motivated by loyalty and doing the "right thing" for their longtime franchise player, via ESPN LA's Ramona Shelburne:

"This wasn't something I decided to do; this wasn't something [general manager] Mitch Kupchak decided to do. This was a Buss family decision," Lakers executive vice president of player personnel Jim Buss told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Monday night, after the team inked Bryant to a two-year, $48.5 million extension.

"We made him the highest-paid player in the NBA because we felt like it was the right thing to do. This wasn't about what somebody else would pay him or outbidding anyone for him.

Bryant, 35, has been with the Lakers since his rookie season in 1996-1997. In sharing the news on Twitter, he said simply #Laker4Life:

While there are plenty of doubts as to whether Bryant's on-court performance will merit the almost-$50 million price tag after he returns from his Achilles injury, there's no disputing what he's meant to the Lakers franchise. It will be extraordinarily difficult to surround Bryant with the proper pieces to chase a championship as his career winds down, but at least Los Angeles will get to see him retire a Laker. Buss, via Shelburne, said the team isn't worried about Bryant showing he can still perform at a high level after the injury:

"He doesn't have to prove to us one thing," Buss said. "He's proven everything to us over the last 17 years. We've seen what he's done with broken fingers and torn ligaments. There's no stopping the guy. We have 100 percent faith in him."

Bryant said the deal was never a negotiation.

More from SB Nation NBA:

Derrick Rose's season-ending injury cuts deep in Chicago

Sunday Shootaround: Dawn of the Paul George Era

The Hook: Sometimes the tank chooses you

Kobe Bryant signs massive 2-year extension with Lakers

The Hook: Blaming Chris Grant as Cavaliers flounder

Latest News

In This Article

Teams
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.