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No Bang For the Buck: Will Kobe Bryant Be Worth $30 Million in 2013-14?

Andrew PierluissiCorrespondent IIIOctober 11, 2010

EL SEGUNDO, CA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Kobe Bryant #24  of the Los Angeles Lakers poses during Media Day at the Toyota Center on September 25, 2010 in El Segundo, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Kobe Bryant is currently one of the best basketball players in the NBA.  Although it could be argued that players like LeBron James and Kevin Durant might have surpassed him already, he is still at the top of the ranks.

Although he might not be number one anymore, he will still be number one in the salary column for years to come.  On his current contract, Bryant is due over $108 million over the next four years, with $30.5 million due for the 2013-14 NBA season, when we will be 36 years old.

On the other hand, LeBron James and Chris Bosh will make just over $19 million for the 2013-14 season, while Dwayne Wade will make under $19 million.  Other max players like Amare Staudemire, Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Pierce, and Joe Johnson will make just about $22 million.

Kobe Bryant will be heavily overpaid by the end of his contract.  There is no way around it.  Yes, the Lakers have an owner that can and will spend anything.  Yes, the Lakers play in a market that allows the team to make enough revenue to have a payroll deep into luxury tax. 

But having a player make more than half of the league’s salary cap while playing past their prime?  That is hard to swallow.

Many Lakers fans and followers will react to this by explaining how much Kobe Bryant has earned each and every penny he will be paid.  That is true, but to an extent.  Kobe Bryant deserved max level money.  But over 50 percent more than almost every other max level player? No.  At 36 years of age with a banged up body including lingering injuries to a finger and knee, it will make that question even easier to answer.

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Kobe Bryant has given the Lakers five NBA Championships and he has been very well paid throughout the process.  Now being paid almost twice as much for a sure decrease in production is not smart management.  Somewhere in the range of what LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and even Dirk Nowitzki, who found himself on the same boat, would have made a lot more sense.

This is not an article dissing Kobe Bryant by any means.  He is and forever will be one of the greatest to have ever played the game.  The amount of money is the problem, and that problem will be very clear in a few years.  For now, it will be great times in Laker land.

The bottom line answer to this question is no.  Kobe Bryant will not be worth $30 million during the 2013-14 NBA season.  It could be argued he will not be worth $27 million during 2012-13 as well.

Agree?  Disagree?  Voice your opinion in the comments section below.

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