Kobe Bryant has signed on for some very lucrative hang time with the Los Angeles Lakers.
ESPN.com reports that Kobe signed a three-year contract extension on Friday worth almost $90 million. The shooting guard has been donning the Lakers signature purple and gold for his entire professional career, and he’ll keep rocking it through the 2013-2014 season.
"It’s very rare to have a player play his entire career in one city, so I’m very excited," Kobe said.
Under the deal, which starts next season, Kobe will enjoy a $1.8 million pay raise. He’s making $23 million this season. By the last year of this contract, the baller will rake in more than $32 million.
This news means that the Lakers will maintain their strong base as Ron Artest, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum have all signed similar extensions that will keep them in L.A. until the 2012-2013 season.
Kobe’s new deal also quiets whispers that he was considering becoming a free agent once his contract with the Lakers expired.
"I knew I was going to be here," he said.
"We are extremely pleased that we were able to reach an agreement and come to terms on the extension at this time," the team’s general manager, Mitch Kupchak, said. “It’s something that could have been done much earlier."
However, it seems that neither the Lakers nor Kobe were in any rush to ink a deal, Mitch said they just wanted to get it done before the playoffs. “There really wasn’t really a time frame on either side,” he explained.
When asked whether he would be hanging up his sneakers when the new contract is, Kobe said, "I doubt it, but it’s possible."
– Sonya Eskridge