ESPN: In all the frenzy and speculation about the NBA free-agent market of 2010, no one is talking about the fact the reigning MVP can become a free agent this summer — or, if he prefers, join the LeBron-Wade-Bosh-Amare-Dirk-Nash-Yao-Pierce free-agent class in 2010.

Kobe Bryant can forego the final two years on his contract with the Lakers if he decides to opt out after the season. If he passes on that opportunity, he can opt out in 2010. Or if he prefers, he can become a free agent in 2011, when his current contract would expire.

The last time he held this power, in 2004, the franchise shuddered and underwent a radical transformation, with Shaquille O’Neal departing and Bryant remaining as the solitary superstar in the Lakers’ galaxy, but not without giving L.A. heart palpitations. General manager Mitch Kupchak spoke of difficulty sleeping in the days before Bryant signed his new contract with the Lakers.

This time around, there’s no fretting among the Lakers’ fan base, no rumors about possible destinations for Bryant. There’s only one big working assumption that Bryant will simply re-sign with the Lakers.

When reached this week, Kupchak reiterated that view: “I’ve always believed that Kobe should and would end his career in a Laker uniform. I believe that to be his feeling as well.”

Left unsaid is another assumption that is prevalent in the league: that Kobe will become a free agent this summer.

Continue reading ‘Kobe quiet about his free-agent status’

  • Eidraq

    he’s not leaving anytime soon…

  • vibe

    We all know he is coming back. He belong to the lakers.

  • Lakers 24 7

    He should be quiet about his free agency..the Lakers are ballin, and he’s not Lebron to brag about which team wants him or what he’ll do next year.

  • Magic “Big” Johnson

    All he wants right now is that trophy..

    LAKE SHOW 2009!!!!!

  • sketch

    LOL! Seeing all of your posts make me laugh. Kobe is a very calculative individual and it would not surprise me 1 bit if he he decided to opt out! And all this “I didn’t know that…that’s awesome” when told of his 61 at MSG. C’mon, Kobe knew what’s up…every time he has a chance to do something great like breaking a record or somethin, you see him going for his! And there’s nothing wrong with that, in fact, you want him to, otherwise how’s he supposed to be the player he is if not doing that!

    I see Kobe opting out of his contract, but still signing with the Lakers! He just want to see everyone go into this frenzy about him and his contract! And why not, he deserves it! I’m a big Kobe fan and obviously a huge Laker fan. But at the end of the day, I’m realistic about it all! I criticized Kobe when he wouldn’t shut up his mouth and I criticized the Lakers when they didn’t get Kobe the support during those 3 trying years that led Kobe to his tirade!

    Kobe’s gonna remain a Laker, but he’s gonna want to get the maximum contract that he can get from the market! This is also a time where he will get as much publicity and buzz about him as possible! It’s also one more opportunity where he will OUTSHINE LeHype! I’m glad that he’s keepin quiet though. We just don’t need anymore distractions surrounding the Lakers, especially from their captain!

    Go Kobe, and Go Lakers!!!!! Keep up the great plays and intensity!

  • Makaveli3

    Kobe should opt out and sign up at a lower price so lakers can get some more key role players. I mean seriously 29 mill per year thats crazy haha just giving up at least 5 mill can help the lakers by a lot.

  • imfasterthanur

    [Comment ID #62175 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Unless Kobe has absolutely no ego, than I highly doubt that he’d take a pay-cut. Also, if anyone in the front office would ask him to do that, it would be completely rude and a slap in the face considering no one in the NBA can do what he does.

    The 29 million is not an issue about practicality (of course he doesn’t need that much money), it’s more about WHAT the 29 mill stands for, and that is a symbol of being the best in the NBA. If he opts out (which I doubt), it wouldn’t be for less money, I can assure you that.

  • T-Dub

    Alot of people are not doing the math. Even if Kobe took a paycut to 18 mil, after the Lakers pay Gasol, Bynum, Odom, Walton, Ariza…they still won’t have any cap room to sign other players. They will still only have the MLE to use. All it would do is save Buss some luxury tax. Why would Kobe take less so Buss can get more?? He should get the max because he earns it! The Lakers make plenty of money off of Kobe. Those of you who thinks he should take less so master can get more must be a bunch of Republicans!

  • 187 ON BOSTON

    he cant leave . even if we dont win the title . if we dont win its his fault that dont cause hes the one that hurt bynum.

  • Robert

    “KOBE” Laker for ever!