Kobe Bryant: Players 'are overpaid, but so are the owners'


Kobe Bryant is at the point in his career where he no longer shies away from speaking out. Likely on his final NBA contract, he can speak on situations that other players can't.

So, when Bryant was asked about the NBA TV deal, which is worth $24 billion over nine years, he was honest, per usual. Bryant said, sure, players "are overpaid, but so are the owners. And you have to fight for what your market value is."

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This was an issue for Kobe in recent years. H

e signed a two-year, $48.5 million contract when others thought he should take less and leave the team more flexibility. Bryant didn't see it that way because of the money he generates for the team, and he believes other players should operate under a similar approach.

Recently, players haven't sat down at the negotiating table with the same outlook as Bryant. Stars have taken less money to play with one another with an eye toward winning titles. Bryant, who has five NBA championships of his own, is not keen on the approach.

"Listen, business is business," Bryant said. "I think people get that confused very easily in understanding that players should take substantially less than their market value in order to win championships."

Because Bryant is honest when other players aren't willing to be, it is safe to assume he speaks for others in some cases.

"It's very easy to look at the elite players around the league and talk about the amount of money that they get paid and compare that with the average [player]," Bryant said. "But we don't look at what the owners get paid and how much revenue they generate off the backs of these players."