Kobe Bryant Says He's '100 Percent' Happy with Lakers' Efforts to Improve Roster

Andy BaileyFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2014

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Ever since the Los Angeles Lakers chose Kobe Bryant over Shaquille O'Neal back in 2004, the organization has has had no problem pandering to its star.

It seems like Bryant's opinion on the front-office moves is a story every summer, and he's generally pretty sour. 

But fresh off the massive two-year extension Kobe signed last November, he's apparently happy to see the likes of Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer and other not-so-big names filling out the roster.

Although he did acknowledge that the front office missed out on the big fish.

Those moves Kobe categorized as efficient took the team from Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre at the start of the offseason, to this:

Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe Bryant$23.5 million
Steve Nash$9.7 million
Jordan Hill$9 million
Jeremy Lin$8.4 million
Nick Young$5.4 million
Carlos Boozer$3.3 million
Julius Randle$3 million
Xavier Henry$980,000
Ed Davis$920,000
Robert Sacre$920,000

A primary reason the Lakers have had to take lower-profile players this summer is Bryant's aforementioned extension. He's set to make $23.5 million this season and $25 million in 2015-16. That's nearly 40 percent of the Lakers' cap space.

That's not a very reliable model for success, and fans are already onto that.

Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding weighed in on the topic:

Lakers fans don't know what to make of this world in which they have been asked to accept mediocrity. They don't know that rebuilding usually takes time and a little unforeseen good fortune.

They are spoiled rotten.

...Over the years, the Lakers have given their fans every reason to grow comfortable with a certain standard of living.

But with happy days gone and not on the horizon, fans are already frustrated.

Ding points out that right now it's hard to see anything good on the horizon. The Lakers have been in a holding pattern for coming up on five years now, and moves like the ones they've made this summer do little more than sustain that.

Sure, it's nice to keep Kobe happy and all, but he's approaching his 36th birthday and has been in the league since 1996. He's on his last leg, and while he's earned a lot of respect, preparing for the team's future should be priority No. 1.

The Lin, Bryant, Nick Young, Boozer, Jordan Hill lineup is not going to fare well in the Western Conference. A clean slate would hurt even more in the short term, but it would do so much more to make the fans happy in the future.


Andy Bailey covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him at @AndrewDBailey.