When Kobe Bryant signed his two-year, $48.5 million extension back in November, the amount left fans and basketball analysts wondering if it were the smartest thing to do financially for a team looking to reload its roster in the coming seasons.
As it turns out, coaches from other sports also had an opinion on the situation as Jurgen Klinsmann, coach of the United States men’s soccer team, told The New York Times Magazine back in December his feelings about how athletes in America are catered to and brought up the five-time NBA Champion and future hall of fame shooting guard.
“This always happens in America,” Klinsmann said in the interview, which was released on Wednesday. “Kobe Bryant, for example — why does he get a two-year contract extension for $50 million? Because of what he is going to do in the next two years for the Lakers? Of course not. Of course not. He gets it because of what he has done before. It makes no sense. Why do you pay for what has already happened?”
The comments from Klinsmann was not meant to bash Kobe but instead was just a recent example used in an attempt to get his point across in the interview. Five months after the interview, Klinsmann left Landon Donovan, who was considered the face of U.S. men’s soccer, off the World Cup roster which seems to stay consistent with his comments about making decisions based off the player’s past and not the present.