Everybody’s favorite writer weighs in on Kobe and the free agency… [/sarcasim]
N.Y. Post: Until Kobe Bryant officially signs a Lakers’ extension — in the works almost as long as the construction of the Second Avenue subway — I’m guessing he’d be another rising free agent the Knicks may be interested pursuing this summer to team up with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh.
Entitled to opt out of next season’s $24,806,250 salary, Kobe has repeatedly professed he’s not going anywhere, scoffing at the often-broached notion he’d consider abandoning the Lakers’ liner.
The fact such critical business is taking so long to finalize amps speculation Kobe has a perfectly good motive for stalling.
Yeah, maybe some sticky wicket technicalities simply need twisting and tweaking.
More likely, common sense dictates, Kobe is declining to commit until Phil Jackson’s coaching status next season is resolved.
Are we experiencing a related ricochet romance moment? Flashback to Jackson’s last two seasons with the Bulls when (Jerry) Crumbs Krause had Tim Floyd waiting in the wings. Jordan made it clear: “If Phil doesn’t coach, I don’t play.”
Eventually, after six crowns in eight seasons, prevalent disrespect by managing partner Jerry Reinsdorf and Krause, whose proclamation, “Organizations win championships, not players,” continues to incite Jordan (Hall of Fame speech), induced His Airness and the Zen Hen to vacate Chicago . . . leaving another title crusade or two on the chart.
Considering Kobe’s delay to re-up, as well as the likelihood that owner Jerry Buss will shrink Jackson’s annual $11 million salary in half, if he even makes him an offer (I’m told this picture is a distinct possibility, with Byron Scott waiting in the wings this time), it’s certainly not unreasonable to wonder if Kobe has adopted an identical stance: “If Phil doesn’t coach, I don’t play.”