Newest Blog Entry 3-4-2016: Were The Los Angeles Lakers Right To Pay Kobe Bryant So Much?

While the focus of the 2015-2016 Los Angeles Lakers season is largely on Kobe Bryant's retirement tour, the question still lingers about whether or not the franchise should have signed him to so much money in his current contract. Given how the season has gone for the franchise, with wins coming few and far between, was it right to sign an aging injury-prone player to more money than anyone in the league?
The Lakers management wanted to make it a point of Kobe remaining the highest paid player in the Association. They stuck to this point even after he had missed major time across several seasons. While it might not have looked like good business sense to outsiders, it makes perfectly good sense within the world of the Lakers.
Kobe Bryant, over his career, has delivered many trips to the NBA Finals, converting five of them into championships. The Lakers are one of the most successful franchises in NBA history, only really rivaled by the Boston Celtics, and Kobe has been instrumental in continuing that.
Keeping Kobe around, even at a high price tag, has meant that his veteran experience, example and unrivaled competitive spirit have stuck around while they develop younger talent. The experience of playing with him for a season should rub off on the up and coming players better than prospects in Phoenix and Philadelphia, where losing a lot of games has become not only acceptable, but accepted.
As painful as this season has been for Lakers fans, the future is bright for the organization. Having one of the worst records in the league is never fun, but it will likely mean a high lottery pick the same summer that the new TV deal boosts the salary cap, and Kobe's salary will come off the books. Expect the Lakers to add more talent to their young core and make a run at potentially two max-contract players, possibly even Kevin Durant.
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