Almost two decades later, the Staples Center is still Kobe Bryant's house. And the time has come for renovations.
Vino signed a two-year extension worth $48.5 million with the Los Angeles Lakers, ensuring that he remains a member of Purple and Gold for life. Or at least until 2016, at which point he can retire to his home planet or continue his career in superhuman fashion.
Keeping with his career-long tradition of failing to please everyone, Kobe's extension was met with feverish consent, lifeless indifference and smoldering dissatisfaction. Any reaction you can fathom, the Black Mamba's contract generated. Anyone who's anyone had something to say, sing or squawk.
Can I, with the help of The Rock, let you in on a little secret, though? It doesn't matter what you think.
Pen has been put to paper. The ink has dried. Kobe has (probably) already invested more than half his salary in glow-in-the-dark Mambas. For better, worse or however you see it, the Lakers are Kobe's. This is what they have and what they will work with; he is who they will build around.
With the Mamba locked down tight for the next couple years, only two questions remain: 1) Is Kobe buying dinner?; and 2) Who's next?
All stats in this article were compiled from Basketball-Reference and are accurate as of Nov. 26, 2013, unless otherwise noted.