Times sure have changed since Michael Jordan was in the Association, with one of the major changes being the evolution of salaries. While Jordan was with the Chicago Bulls for 11 years, he made approximately $90 million. Kobe Bryant recently signed a two-year contract extension worth $48.5 million. That just shows how successful the NBA has gotten over the years, and is flourishing economically through sponsorship deals and TV rights. The players just want to be rewarded for helping the league reach this level, especially a future Hall of Famer like Bryant.
Jordan talked to the media on Wednesday saying, “Can I criticize him for maximizing his opportunity from a financial standpoint? No. Does his decision have an affect on how the team will structure certain things? Maybe.”
Jordan also added, “But that’s something the team didn’t have to give to him. They could easily give him a different scenario and Kobe could make his choice from that standpoint. It’s easy to criticize where we sit, and you don’t know all the dynamics of why or what the opportunities were for him. I’m not going to criticize him for taking advantage of the opportunity presented to him.”
Being an owner and a former player probably influenced his view on this topic as he now understands both sides of the league. Especially with a new TV rights deal in the making, it is has been speculated that the NBA will receive a lot more money, so that might be the reason for the short two-year contract. With all Kobe has brought to the Lakers and the league, I respect his decision to take this money. He deserves it. Do you guys think Bryant should have taken less money to sign better free agents?