How's your Friday looking? It doesn't matter, because Kobe Bryant's weekend will start far better than any of yours.
The LA Times' Eric Pincus reports the Lakers are set to part with a sizable amount for their star guard who continues to heal from offseason surgery.
Negotiated as part of his specific contract, Bryant receives a balloon payment on Nov. 1. On Friday, the All-Star guard will receive $24,363,044 from the Lakers.
Bryant's salary for the entire season is $30,453,805 -- the remaining $6.1 million will be paid out over the course of the year.
This all sort of puts being allowed to wear jeans on Friday into perspective.
Some of you are planning a weekend trip or an after-Halloween party. Heck, scheduling a couple of days on the couch with some beer and football sounds absolutely delightful at the moment.
None of that means you will be $24-plus million richer. And that is why Mr. Mamba beats whatever sad excuse for great news you thought you had.
Pincus goes on to say there is a limit to how much a player can request in one fell swoop. If you are wondering, Bryant's exorbitant check will nestle right next to that 80 percent maximum mark. And so Bryant will head into the weekend with one extremely heavy piggy bank and the Lakers will have the comfort that only comes with paying off your biggest bill of the year.
Unfortunately for Purple and Gold brass, that feeling of ease will be fleeting. Bryant, as well as a great many Lakers players, will be heading to free agency in 2014 following his 17th season in the Association. While the Lakers can lock him up, there is a very real sense that despite some fond feelings, the Lakers may be headed toward a tumultuous time in short order.
Kupchak: "Kobe's made it clear that he intends to retire (as a Laker) and we feel same way."— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 25, 2013
It's all well and good for the two parties to sit across from one another at the virtual table and declare their love, but Bryant is still out due to an awful Achilles injury that closed his season last year, and the Lakers are clearly on the road to new beginnings.
So far the Lakers star has been vague about his return date, offering that he will come back when he is good and ready.
ESPN reports Jim Buss made no secret that the franchise is dedicated to keeping the 35-year-old in a Lakers jersey for well beyond. All of that will be worked out in time. First, the team needs to figure out how much is left in what have been some overworked legs in the last few seasons.
Bryant, for his part, will have to figure out how much money brings him back. As Pincus notes, that figure can rest somewhere between $1.4 million and $32.7 million—not a small chasm to bridge.
Ah, but that's all stress to be dealt with another day. For now, we will let them worry about finding a pen and cutting one ridiculous check.
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