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Lakers News: Mitch Kupchak Talks About Kobe’s Extension, Expectations Reviewed by Momizat on . Please enable Javascript to watch this video Last week, Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant was on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and revealed that he is 100 percent Please enable Javascript to watch this video Last week, Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant was on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and revealed that he is 100 percent Rating: 0
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Lakers News: Mitch Kupchak Talks About Kobe’s Extension, Expectations

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Last week, Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant was on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and revealed that he is 100 percent from a health stand point, but isn’t quite there basketball-wise. After suffering consecutive season-ending injuries, there is uncertainty surrounding his return at age 36.

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On Monday, general manager Mitch Kupchak spoke about numerous topics including Bryant’s extension and his expectations for the five-time champion heading into this season. In an interview with Lakers.com’s Mike Trudell, Kupchak said Bryant won’t be the same as he was when he was 24 years old, but he’s not worried about that:

He’s not going to be the player he was athletically, physically, when he was 24. He looked different then; he was thin, loaded with unabashed energy. Kobe at 36 won’t be the same, but he’ll be better in a lot of ways.

Since signing Bryant to a two-year, $48.5 million extension, both parties have received criticism for the timing of the contract. While Bryant was just coming off the Achilles rupture, Kupchak felt the Lakers had a rare opportunity to sign one of the top free agents that would be available this summer:

“Signing Kobe when we did, we felt, gave us one of the top two or three free agents that would be available this summer. We had the rare opportunity to get that done and not have to wait until July 1.”

While Kobe’s extension will continue to be a debate, the five-time champion has done so much for the organization and has a lot of value for the franchise beyond what he does on the court. Although many players have actually made references to his contract, it will still allow the Lakers to sign another superstar this upcoming summer.

With Bryant cleared for basketball activities, the five-time champion has more than five months to prepare himself for the final two seasons of his career.
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About The Author

Dan Duangdao is the Editor-in-Chief of Lakers Nation. Follow him on Twitter: @DanDuangdao

Number of Entries : 412
  • vdogg

    kobe will come back and be great.

  • LA Lakers

    Sad to say Kobe will still finish with 5 rings. His comeback attempt failed miserably. He will finish his last 2 years with a crap team. Even Kobe in his prime couldn’t carry a team to the Finals. #JustSaying

  • Devon Samuels²⁴

    Can’t wait till Kobe prove haters and so called fans thats title them selves “The Realest” wrong again!

  • Lakers4Life

    Kobe’s the man all the way. However at age 36, I wonder how he will truly fit into the system and how much he would actually contribute the next few years. We all love the mamba, but at some point we need to accept reality and admit he may only be a mid-level caliber player from now on.

    • HOOPS LV

      Mid-level caliber player…??? Are you serious? That’s a ridiculous statement.

  • KB24

    LETS GO KOBE AND THE LAKERS LETS HAVETHE BIGGEST COMEBACK EVER! Im not losing hope and still BELIEVES THAT KOBE WILL HAVE HIS 6th ring…..KOBE STILL A TOP 3 player and that wont change till he retires GET THAT MVP AND FINALS MVP NEXT YEAR FOR THE WIN!!!!!!!

    • Melly Mel

      Im tired of people acting like Kobe wasnt leading the nba in scoring in 2012. 3/4 of the season.. So for people to act like kobe needs to prove anything is just wrong.. What didnt kobe accomplish? And did he not put his team and the nba on his back.. Was he not hurt and dragged the lowly lakers to the playoffs? So yea

  • daniel

    Kobe should show a little class, but his egomaniac personality unfortunately goes against it. Kobe is receiving this money not because of what he can do, he receives the money as a gratitude of great past years of dedication. But that is gone, finished, ended. At this point, he should be thinking about helping the Lakers to transition to build a great team, and take the role of mentoring, and leader, something that he does not know how to do, because of his personality.
    Due to the cap, great teams can not be built through free agency anymore, they have to do it through the draft and a couple of free agents, and due to the lakers situation and Kobe personality, no star wants to come to LA. Howard was a prick, but did not wanted to stay because of that. No star will want to have an old Kobe in his ass showing no respect. The respect he does not show for his teammates, nor the coaching stuff.

  • Iroobot

    It’s really disgusting how many people base basketball skill purely on athelticism. Kobe is a very smart player, has an amazing midrange game, runs off of screens better than almost any guy in the league and knows how to get his shots. He won’t be as explosive obviously, but everyone assuming he is now an average caliber player, because he will undoubtably be a bit slower, is on the verge of madness. The reason rookies are so terrible is because they don’t know how to utilize their skills, this won’t be a problem for Kobe. Granted they bring in guys who will provide good spacing and not stagnate, this could be a very good upcoming year for him. It all depends on the personnel brought in to support the style of play best suited to him and the team will thrive.

  • TheTruthKills

    My expectations for Kobe is 20 ppg, 4rpg, and 4 apg. We’ll see flashes of his former greatness, but I don’t believe he’ll be able to sustain it. During the 6 games that he did play this year I never saw the flashes. I never saw the Kobe we all know and love. I saw a guy who had zero explosion. It was as if he was a step behind on a lot of plays. I saw a guy who will have to rely almost exclusively on his basketball IQ and footwork to have any success scoring the ball. He will still command a double team out of respect, but if he’s in a slump other teams might not even bother. On defense he will be a liability. The elite players in the league will be chomping at the bit to go at Kobe like players use to do to Wizards Jordan.

  • ersliva

    IF THE LAKERS DONT PUT A REAL TEAM AROUND HIM THIS YEAR AND HE STAYS HEALTHY I SEE KOBE WINNING THE SCORING TITLE/MVP AND COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS….IMO HE WILL MAKE THE LAKERS AT LEAST A 500 TEAM AS WELL….NOW IF THEY DO PLACE A TEAM AND COACH AROUND HIM….KOBE WONT WIN SCORING TITLE BUT WILL WIN THE OTHER TWO AWARDS MENTIONED AND LEAD THE LAKERS FAR INTO THE NBA PLAYOFFS…JUST DEPENDS UPON MANAGEMENT AS TO HOW GOOD A TEAM THEY PLACE AROUND HIM…..

  • Big Jim

    Kobe, you ARE the NBA. Miss you and excited to have you back. Your fans up in Minnesota.

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