Kobe Bryant says he won't take pay cut in next contract

USA TODAY Sports

Kobe Bryant doesn't plan to take a pay cut with the Los Angeles Lakers when he becomes a free agent next season, but doesn't expect that to stifle his plans to retire as a Laker.

Kobe Bryant won't be a free agent until next summer, but the Los Angeles Lakers superstar isn't planning on leaving Hollywood if he can help it. It won't necessarily be cheap for the Lakers to keep the NBA's highest-paid player, however, according to comments Bryant made to Lakers Nation's Serena Winters.

Bryant told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne that he's waiting until the dust settles before approaching the Lakers' front office to talk about an extension to his deal. When that talk does happen, however, Bryant told Lakers Nation that he's not going to go in to the negotiations expecting to take a pay cut.

"I'm not taking any (pay cut) at all - that's the negotiation that you have to have," Kobe Bryant told Lakers Nation in an exclusive interview at his Kobe Basketball Academy on Wednesday. "For me to sit here and say, ‘Oh yeah, I'm just going to take a huge pay cut. Nah, I'm going to try to get as much as I possibly can."

Bryant has already made just shy of $250 million in salary with the Lakers over the course of his career and is scheduled to make an additional $30,453,805 for the upcoming season. If he takes another max contract, it'll make it a bit more difficult for the Lakers to fill out a solid roster beyond the 2014 season -- a season that could look much different for the Lakers considering only Steve Nash is currently under contract past next year.

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Considering he'll be 35 this year and is coming off a season-ending injury, though, it'll be interesting to see whether or not the Lakers feel like making that kind of investment in their superstar.

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