It's been almost a year since
Some Lakers fans appreciated the loyalty the Buss family showed in making Bryant the highest-paid
Other fans, however, thought Bryant accepted too much for a player who turned 36 a few months ago. He will make $23.5 million this season and $25 million next season, eating up substantial cap space.
On Friday, Bryant gave his most in-depth opinion on his contract.
"Did I take a discount? Yeah. Did I take as big a discount as some fans would want me to? No," he said. "Was it a big enough discount to help us be a contender? Yeah."
The Lakers tried to woo
With Bryant still on the books, they'll have enough money next July to sign one player to a maximum contract. When he's off the books in 2016, they could sign two players to maximum deals under the most modest salary-cap projections.
With the Lakers playing Dallas on Friday night, Bryant was asked about the
"It's a big coup for the owners to put players in situations where public perception puts pressure on them to take less money, because if you don't, then you get criticized for it," Bryant said. "It's absolutely brilliant. But I'm not going for it. And I know the new head of the players' association ain't going for it either."
Bryant averages a league-high 27.5 points a game but is on pace for a career low in accuracy. He is currently shooting 38.6%, almost 7% below his career accuracy coming into this season.