Plenty of people think Kobe Bryant should have taken less money from the Lakers in order to help build a title contender. Former teammate Metta World Peace is not one of those people. From ESPN's Arash Markazi:
"He should have taken the money," World Peace said Wednesday. "God damn, Kobe, take the money. Take it and run. He should have let me negotiate for him. I would have said, ‘Hey, Mitch, c'mon, make it happen. Make it happen.'"
A compelling negotiation style, no doubt. M.W.P. speaks from a certain position, given that for the bulk of his career he was wildly underpaid given his talent level (often, his salary was at odds with his lack of reliability, at least until he joined the Lakers). Metta has always also deified Bryant, so it's understandable that he'd believe Kobe is worth the full max he was eligible to receive.
Kobe's been pretty vocal about this as well, lashing out at people who say he should have taken less. It's notable that Bryant actually voted against the deal to end the 1998-99 lockout precisely because of its strict caps on how much a player could make: he knew it'd affect him some day. But nonetheless he's been the league's highest paid player for years now and will continue to be through 2015-16. Even after taking a pay cut.