Kobe will not opt out but rather return home to the world champion Los Angeles Lakers. Also, he wants the team – and media – to focus on resigning Lamar & Ariza:

stayingESPN: Kobe Bryant said he plans to stay with the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers even if he opts out of his contract this summer. Phil Jackson said his health will dictate whether he returns as coach.

Bryant met with Jackson and general manager Mitch Kupchak for an individual exit interview Friday.

The finals MVP can terminate the last two years of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He’s spent his entire 13-year career with the Lakers, winning four NBA championships. But he could get a new, more lucrative and longer deal if he opted out.

Asked by reporters if he would opt out, Bryant said, “I’ve been deflecting that all year and I ain’t going to stop now.”

Pressed to explain, he responded, “I’m not going anywhere. I know I ain’t going nowhere, so it’s just a waste of our breaths just talking about it.”

Bryant turns 31 in August. He averaged 32.4 points, 7.4 assists and 5.6 rebounds during the finals, when the Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic in five games.

Continue reading: ‘I’m not going anywhere’

  • barcalakerfan4life

    both odom and ariza should both be singed and also shannon brown.

  • Raphael Rossellini

    Nowhere in the article did it say that he wasn’t going to opt out. It just means that if he does that he will still sign with the Lakers.

  • LakersFirst

    Hopefully he’ll opt out and take less money – doing this would make it easier for Laker management to resign Odom, Ariza and even Brown.

  • http://www.modenadude.com/ThaDogg Imadogg

    [Comment ID #76827 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Yea, the first line of the article even says:
    “Kobe Bryant said he plans to stay with the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers even if he opts out of his contract this summer.”

  • kwame4mvp

    I can’t believe there was doubt. He just won all the marbles and why leave? Media is just trying to get a story out of nothing.

  • Raphael Rossellini

    [Comment ID #76829 Will Be Quoted Here]

    If anything, he will take more money.

  • Omamba

    I say Kobe will opt out to lengthen his contract with the Lakers, whether he takes more money or not is all up in the air to me, after all, this is the same guy who asked for a trade at one point and at the next point said he loved L.A. So you can never tell with Kobe, he has surprised me with all of his decisions so far.

  • mplakers

    kobe should pull a tim duncan and sign for long term but, for less yearly…that way mnagement has some space to maneuver to not only resign some of our players back but, maybe pick up a free agent who is desperate for a championship.

    jason kidd and ron artest, just to name a few.

    let’s do a poll on the chances that kobe would do something like that.


    Kobe is not going to take less money overall than what has already been negotiated! …C’mon seriously, would you? …But, he will restructure a new contract to be end loaded.

  • Lakezilla

    Gotta love the misleading titles these online reports always have. He said that he’s not going anywhere but nothing about not opting out. He’s obviously going to opt out and take the max but we can still sign Odom and Ariza if he does. I’ll guarantee that the Lakers will backload the contract and that will provide them the wiggle room to resign Ariza and Odom. Kinda like what the Dodgers did with Manny. Kobe still gets his money but most of it on the back end. I hope they resign Brown also and get rid of Sasha and Farmer. Since they’re in the luxury tax territory, they can use the mid-level exception on a free agent without it counting against the cap. I really hope they use it this year because last year they didn’t. They’re some free agents out there that might be willing to take less if they can get a ring so we’ll see.


    ^^^^One of those MLE free agents will probably be Odom or Ariza!

  • Lakezilla

    They’re not included in that because they’re Laker free agents. Its the same thing that happened with Luke Walton a couple years back. They signed him for 6 years 30 mil which is 5 mil a year. The same like a mid level offer but it didn’t count as the mid-level exception because he was one of their free agents. Hopefully that made some sense. I forgot what the term is actually called but its the truth.

  • willow

    He’ll probably agree to an extension paying him more money but to a longer term like a $200m for 20 years. As of right now, his max is 5 years $135m. He’ll be compensated well after he’s retired and the Lakers are still paying him. That comes out to $10m per year for the next 20 years while still staying under the luxury tax threshold. Thats a significant pay cut considering it’s KOBE BRYANT. That’s the only way I see them signing both LO and Trev and still go below under the luxury tax.

  • ricky

    It’s plain and simple, Jerry Buss must go over the salary cap and pay the luxury tax if he wants to continue to win championships! He is one of the best owners in all of professional sports and I’m certain he will do whatever it takes to secure an opportunity and give his team a chance to win it all every time. We must resign Lamar, Trevor, and Shannon and look to shore up a few areas (really don’t have much at this point, we are strong in pretty much all positions). I was thinking of point guard but if we can retain Shannon Brown, we will be fine, we already have Fish, Jordan, and Sun. Sasha has been terrible this season but if he can bring back his game of 07-08, then he is a definite keeper. Small forward is gonna be Trevor and Luke, Adam I think we can either keep or trade away because he will be in his last year of his contract and he will be good for teams trying to get under the cap. Unless, however, he can develop and bring back his touch from college, I would keep him, he’s another shooter who can space the floor like Vladimir but cheaper and younger. I would keep him regardless cause he’s still young. Power forward we are covered with Pau, Lamar and Josh. I think we can use another big body behind Drew and DJ just as insurance.

    All in all, we have a great team.

    Just for fun and looking into the future, once the older players end up retiring, this will be our roster and I think we will be in good hands.

    C Andrew Bynum
    F Adam Morrison
    F Trevor Ariza
    F Josh Powell
    G Jordan Farmar
    G Shannon Brown
    G Sasha Vujacic
    G Sun Yue

    Hopefully Drew will develop into the center we believe him to be, Morrison can regain his touch and become a Rashard Lewis/Turkoglu type of forward at the very least, Jordan can be a good, quick PG who can shoot, drive, and make the pass. Ariza can continue his 3pt shooting and solid defense to go along with his slashing and Shannon will become a slashing, shooting, high-flying, slamma-jamma, in your face defensive, energetic combo guard!

    That’s a cool lineup

    C Drew
    F Morrison
    F Ariza
    G Shannon
    G Farmar

  • Dragon

    They need to stop asking that question I mean it so obvious he isn’t gonna go anywhere else. He just won the championship where else he would wanna go. He never said he wanted 5 or 6 or 7 more rings he just wanted 1 more and he knows how hard it took to get there. So he already got that 4th one why would he even want to leave after it took so long to get this team back on track to winning. They just need to stop asking that question cause it will be stupid to even think he would leave after all this.



    Here is the section of the CBA, where the Mid Level Exception is clearly outlined, Walton’s contract not withstanding;

    Basketball related income, salary cap, minimum team salary, and escrow arrangement…

    ARTICLE VII Section 6. Exceptions to the Salary Cap.
    There shall be the following exceptions to the rule that a Team’s Team Salary may not exceed the Salary Cap:

    6(b) Veteran Free Agent Exception.
    Beginning on the day following the last day of the Moratorium Period following the last Season covered by a Veteran Free Agent’s Player Contract, such player may enter into a new Player Contract with his Prior Team

    6(e) Mid-Level Salary Exception.
    Subject to the rules set forth in Section 6(k) below:

    (2) Player Contracts signed pursuant to the Mid-Level Salary Exception may provide for annual increases and decreases in Salary and Unlikely Bonuses in accordance with Section 5(c)(1) above.

    (3) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in Section 6(e)(2) above, if a Veteran Free Agent with one or two Years of Service receives an Offer Sheet in accordance with the provisions of Article XI, Section 5(c)(ii), the player’s Prior Team may use the Mid-Level Exception to match the Offer Sheet.

    (4) The Mid-Level Salary Exception shall arise on the day following the last day of the Moratorium Period of each Salary Cap Year and shall expire on the last day of the Team’s Regular Season during that Salary Cap Year.

    6(k) Other Rules.
    (1) A Team shall be entitled to use the Disabled Player, Bi-annual, Mid-Level Salary, and Assigned Player Exceptions set forth in Section 6(c), (d), (e) and (h) above, respectively, only if, at the time any such Exception would arise and at all times until it is used, the Team’s Team Salary, excluding the amount(s) of such Exception and any other Exception that would be included in Team Salary pursuant to Section 6(k), is (i) at or above the Salary Cap, or (ii) below the Salary Cap by less than the amount(s) of the Team’s Exception(s).

  • http://lakers3on3.com Parker


  • LakersFirst

    [Comment ID #76841 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Of course he’s not going to take less money overall and I wasn’t suggesting that he should. What he should do is opt out to take less per year at the beginning of the new contract and be end loaded (like you suggested).

  • ab4sure

    Kobe take less money? For more years? LOL Tim Duncan did so that the spurs can sign free agents in 2010 and help save the owner lux tax money. Maybe kobe will surprise us and take a salary starting at say 20 million and increase it 2 million a year for 5 years. He would end with a salary of 28 million at the age of 36. I think that would be more than fair considering this is the best situation any player in the nba could have. I know wade and lebron are drooling for a roster the lakers have. Thanks Mitch. But my guess is he will want to be the highest paid player every year so he will probably probably want his contract starting at 23 million a year.

  • Dave

    Read an interesting article on this subject. Any money that Kobe leaves on the table goes straight into the Buss’s pocket — not any other players. Buss can pay ANYTHING he wants to. The question should be is whether Buss will pay his champions — or let them go and risk missing the playoffs next year.

    Buss can easily save $5 or $10 million and let the guys go, but what is the championship worth?


    [Comment ID #76907 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I think everyone needs to give alittle. Buss, Kobe, Lamar, Ariza, and so on. Each one of them needs to ask themselves what a title is worth to them. The Lakers are over the cap therefore any monies Buss pays is actually doubled. If Buss pays Lamar 8 million it is like he is paying him 16 million because he has to pay a tax on that.

  • Dragon

    Kobe should take less indeed he is the second highest paid athlete and he has already made his money. He already making enough through endorsement deal he got his own brand already. He don’t need anymore money than he already has unless he is just greedy but I guess its hard to turn down any amount of money. If we don’t get Odom back I wouldn’t worry about that Odom only plays well when we need him too he still inconsistent to me. I would rather take Ariza back he still young and got a lot amount of energy with hussle plays and steals. We can always get another big guy for less. Maybe not as versatile as Odom but someone who can play D and score.

  • LakersFirst

    [Comment ID #76907 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Well, any money that Kobe “leaves on the table” makes it easier for Buss to resign Odom and Ariza and possibly Shannon Brown. The Lakers are going to pay a luxury tax on this year’s roster (I believe they were about $7M over the luxury tax penalty, so Buss has to pay $7M for the luxury tax, so even though the roster salary was $78M total, add the luxury tax and it’s really $85M).

    The Lakers currently only have 8 players on salary for next season with a total salary of the roster at $74M, already in luxury tax territory, so resigning players like Odom, Ariza, Brown, just increases the total salary roster and the increases the luxury tax the Lakers have to pay. Does Buss want to pay a luxury tax of $10M, $15M maybe even $20M? We’ll see.

  • gugy

    I really doubt Kobe will take a big pay cut. A small maybe.
    It’s up to Mitch to crunch the numbers between Ariza and Odom and as well see if we can dispose guys like Luke and Sasha that makes simply too much money for what they contribute.

  • jose

    [Comment ID #76841 Will Be Quoted Here]

    warlock you don’t look at numbers fool. of course kobe is going to stay man. you ain’t a laker fan yo.

  • LakersFirst

    [Comment ID #76925 Will Be Quoted Here]

    If Kobe were to opt out for less money, I believe NBA rules impose a limit of how much less the opting out player can take. For example, a player making $20M can’t opt-out to take the veterans minimum of $1.5M to help his team financially. I think if a player opts-out, he can only take 10% less money. Something like that.

  • http://www.fistfight.tv dumptster

    Great games blog, cheers


    [Comment ID #76926 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Eh jose…
    Or whoever you might be impersonating,

    Dude, nobody here speaks of more foolish litany than thy foolish self… Try not to embarrass yourself with such rhetoric that makes NO SENSE!