Anybody who think the Kobe will take the mid level is on crack. And even worst, Cousins a max contract?
The Lakers were loyal to him, when D12 asked about KB and the Amnesty and still loyal when they decided not to use the amnesty on him following his achilles injury. I think one of the reasons why they kept being loyal was because they hoped he would return the favor so to speak.
If Kobe goes for as much as he can, he will not win anything and he would also be remembered for throwing away his chance to get his 6th ring because of greed. It makes no sense, since he could get a lot more money if he went to china or europe.
Also, if Kobe decides to go this route i think Jeannie Buss would simply decide NOT to re-sign him and she would have the support of many Lakerfans, including myself. Obviously we're not talking about Kobe taking the minimum, but a 10-12M/yr deal or so would be fitting. Kobe going for 25M/yr is too much.
Regarding Cousins; He’s the type of player that needs the right guys around him and with the Kings it’s basically been the complete opposite. Surround him with Kobe, Pau, Nash, Phil Jackson and max guy and then hire Shaq as a mentor and I think he could turn things around. The talent is there and all he needs is to work on his strengths.