(Photo: EPA/LARRY W. SMITH CORBIS OUT)
The Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers seasons are over but that isn’t enough to keep their respective stars out of the news.
In an article that was released today on The Dallas Morning News website, comments from Dirk Nowitzki regarding his upcoming contract extension negotiation seems to be taking a shot at Kobe Bryant who recently signed a 2 year, 48.5 million dollar extension despite not yet having recovered from his Achilles injury from the previous season.
“We want to get better as a team,” Nowitzki said. “And I’m pretty sure I’m not going to sign Kobe’s deal – unfortunately. We’ll find a good way where I feel respected for what I did and we still have enough money left for us to get great players in here. Cubes (Dallas owner Mark Cuban) has been great to me and been loyal to me for a long, long time. I’m sure we’re going to find a great solution for everybody.”
Kobe and the Lakers organization were highly criticized by fans and media following the announcement of his massive contract extension during the middle of this just completed season. Much of the critique was related to the timing of the contract extension by the Lakers front office considering Kobe had still not recovered from his Achilles rupture or taken the court at that point.
Nowitzki comments regarding leaving enough room to sign other free agents while at the same time being paid an amount that rewards him for what he has done for the franchise seems to be a direct shot at Kobe and his contract. The inplication being that Kobe’s massive contract hampers the Lakers ability to sign big name free agents and that his huge ego is what drove the price of his extension to that epic number. Well, that is my interpretation of his comments and you can infer as you wish.
– Fern Rea
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