Mark Cuban says the Lakers should consider releasing Kobe Bryant

Mark Cuban still knows how to get under an opponent's skin

2/23/13 in NBA   |   Pat   |   5235 respect

February 20, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) moves the ball against the Boston Celtics during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY SportsMark Cuban went on a Dallas sports radio show, and made one of the boldest statements that he's ever made in public.

Yes, I realize what I just said.

Mark Cuban, known for brash and bold statements, may have outdone himself this time.

via ESPN Dallas:
"If you look at their payroll, even if Dwight (Howard) comes back, you’ve got to ask the question: Should they amnesty Kobe?"

Wait, what?

Would the Lakers really cut Kobe Bryant, the face of their organization?

The short answer is no. They absolutely wouldn't. But basketball-wise, it might actually make a lot of sense.

Kobe is currently the highest paid player in the league, with a salary (this year) of $27.85M, and then another $30.45M next season.

His individual performance hasn't been bad, by any means. He's averaging around 27 points per game, as well as 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

That having been said, there's no way that his on-court performance justifies paying him upwards of $57M for this season and next. He's making $10M more per year than LeBron James and Kevin Durant, the two best players on the planet.

The Lakers will still pay it, however, and they'll pay it happily. They make considerably more than that off of Kobe's existence in off-court revenue, and there's really no possible way that they could cut him without sending millions of fans into a blind rage.

Cuban acknowledges that, and he realizes that the Lakers would probably never do it.

"It’s the same reason I wouldn’t get rid of Dirk. I’ll take a hit for a season rather than get rid of Dirk. That’s just it. I’ve made that commitment to him over the years and he’s returned that commitment. Maybe that’s selfish, but that’s just the way it is.

So I’m just saying that hypothetically. When I say amnesty Kobe, I don’t think they’d do it, but they’ve got some choices to make. Now, they’re in a big market, but they’re still limited. The Knicks, the same thing. Boston, same thing."

Still, Dirk Nowitzki's $20M is considerably less than what Kobe is pulling in, so Cuban's comparison doesn't even entirely work.

Kobe Bryant's value to the Lakers goes far beyond merely his numbers on the court. His marketability and his name recognition are nearly unmatched in all of sports.

The Lakers laughed off the idea, saying that Cuban's comments were inappropriate.

What do you think... should the Lakers even consider using the amnesty clause on Kobe Bryant? Or is it just a crazy comment by Cuban to get under their skin?
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2/26/13   |   kobe_lova   |   62436 respect

Scott wrote:
I'm not even sure this has anything to do with getting under an opponents skin.  I think this is just another case of Mark Cuban being Mark Cuban.  He has always been one of those people who isn't afraid to speak his mind and that will never change.

The timing was on purpose.

2/24/13   |   Scott   |   54691 respect

I'm not even sure this has anything to do with getting under an opponents skin.  I think this is just another case of Mark Cuban being Mark Cuban.  He has always been one of those people who isn't afraid to speak his mind and that will never change.