Pat Riley Talks About Kobe Bryant’s Injury Impact On Lakers

Pat Riley Talks About Kobe Bryant’s Injury Impact On Lakers


Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Back in November, before returning from the worst injury of his NBA career, Kobe Bryant signed a fully guaranteed two-year contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers. The new deal will pay the veteran guard $48.5 million over the next two seasons and took many by surprise once it became official.

Bryant’s extension turned a lot of heads around the league for many different reasons. One, Bryant hadn’t returned from injury yet and many had no idea if he’d be able to bounce back from a torn Achilles. Two, the team purposely made it so that the majority of the contracts would come off the books this season in order to make run at big-name free agents in July.

As if Bryant’s new deal wasn’t highly questionable at the time of the signing, now the five-time NBA champion is on the shelf once again with a knee injury that’ll keep him sidelined until at least the end of January.

As a result of the injury, the future remains in limbo for Bryant and the Lakers, but former Laker head coach and current Miami Heat president, Pat Riley, doesn’t believe it was a bad move considering Bryant’s contribution via

What happened to Kobe was a freak injury. It does hurt the organization. But he also knows that the organization has his best interests … I mean he’s a week away from signing a $57 million contract that’s fully guaranteed, whether he’s playing or not. He has 18 years invested in the Los Angeles Lakers. The team is going to take care of him.

With all the revenue that Bryant brings in for the Lakers on and off the court, signing the veteran to a lucrative deal that will likely be the last of his career makes sense. Regardless of those who believe it was a mistake initially or even more so now that he’s injured again, Bryant is worth his weight in gold in terms of what he’s done and continues to do for the organization.

The same kind of treatment will be expected for other big-name players in the near future. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Kevin Durant are four names that come to mind as candidates to get the same treatment if they remain with their current teams.

Once it is all said and done for Bryant, it’ll be interesting to see how his final contract with the team is perceived in terms of if the Lakers got their money’s worth for their aging superstar.
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  • kobe24

    Kobe best Laker of all time and second best player in the NBA after MJ

    • inglewow

      are u dumb? magic is the best..19.5 pts per game 11 assist 7 reb….don’t ever forget…kobe is the 2nd best

      • LASGVMPK

        Shaq D

      • Chyeah

        all opinions

      • Techlight

        Well kobe has done everything magic has done. Career length all star, mvp’s on every possible platform, an elite place on an all time list(scoring in Kobe’s case which is the most valuable single category), and the same amount of title magic brought(5).

        And kobe also did it in a more modern era and without the showtime lakers. No DPOY cooper, no Kareem, no worthy(big one right there), no Byron Scott,

        • Techlight

          Also yes kobe did have Shaq, but at this point he’s spent more time without Shaq and he still won multiple titles without Shaq and with a worse team than the 2000 lakers.

          Plus magic and Kareem and west have all said kobe is the best laker so I mean you’d be disagreeing with them too.

          Don’t get me wrong I’m a magic guy, but let’s not be nostalgic, kobe has done as much as magic and in many ways more and with less help and in a more advanced league.

          I’ll always feel MJ, Kobe, Magic all time 1A 1B 1C then Bird. They would’ve dominated any era

    • Johansen Peralta

      ummm…. Lebron James is proven to be better than Kobe period

      • Techlight

        Other way around.

  • Marty Susman

    Sorry, I love the Lakers & have watched Kobe for his whole career & honestly, it was a HUGE mistake give him the new contract. First off he is not worth $24,000,000 a year, second he is already crippled & most likely he will follow Nash & continue to be a marginal player who is good at best. Kobe has never been a team guy in that he loves to shoot meaning others don’t get the same chance. Yes he should stay with the Lakers BUT as a 4th quarter closer & he is not worth more then $5,000,000 a year at best…(Hate me all you like)

    • Gregory Choa

      “…continue to be a marginal player who is good at best”…WTH??? SMH!!!
      Kobe hater much???

    • inglewow

      did kobe go to the finals 3 years In a row winning 2 without shaq and doing it his way…so what he shoots, he’s a shooting guard…and he won not one but 2 on his own…with a soft pau a weak odom and an injured bynum

    • Ron

      If Kobe never play a quarter, he’s worth that money (48,000,000), after 20 years of service. Just by being on the Lakers, they will make more money from sellout, Lakers gear, etc! You think Kobe would play for 5,000,000, that’s a joke! smh!

    • Teri Bragger

      Sorry, but Kobe has made the Lakers & the whole league far more than the money he is guaranteed for the next 2 years. They would never have achieved what they did without him, they made 100’s of millions in revenue off of his image, his jersey, his signed memorabilia, ticket sales, etc. He is worth every penny regardless of how well he plays in the near future. Hating has nothing to do with it. The Lakers are boring right now, will be boring well into the future & there are no players of his caliber on the horizon. Lebron as good as he is, is BORING!

      • famechon

        Sorry Terri, The Lakers were made great by Majic , Kareem and Worthy playing a team sport. Cooper, Scott , Green and even Rambis deserve the 24 million a year for who they are now.

    • Ewerd Herrera

      its not about how much hes worth playing wise its about what hes done for 18 years this is more gratitude than anything else. how would u feel if u gave it your all for 18 years with a franchise and when your body finally takes a toll the franchise you worked for dosent value you anymore… besides Kobe Bryant brings money to that franchise more than you you knw so they aint sweatin kobe.. btw do u belong to the church of the flying spaghetti monster… u knw pastafarian??

  • Daryl Peek

    Riley knows what this organization is all about! And he knows the Buss children.

  • magic

    Kareem is the greatest Laker, followed by Earvin “Magic” Johnson. You tube Inside the NBA-Greatest Laker if you are under 25 and didn’t see Showtime basketball. Respect and peace.

    • Jim213

      Disagree I have Magic/Kobe tied for #1, with J West #3. It so happens that all 3 were drafted by the Lakers and retired with the franchise aside of their success with the franchise. K Jabbar had prior success with the Bucks (prime) before joining the Lakers family so have him at #4.

      However, it’s a different story when you don’t talk about the best player(s) of the franchise as K Jabbar was a better player (career) than Magic and Kobe (currently). Can’t be one of the greats while having the all time NBA scoring record.

  • Marty Susman

    Kobe was & has been GREAT but he is no longer that same Kobe….

    • Gregory Choa

      Duh! But you’re missing the point, which is that when it’s all said and done, Kobe will be the longest tenured franchise player in the history of the game…and we’re not just talking about any franchise, we’re talking about the Los Angeles Lakers!

      • richard

        Greg… you are talking to a brick….

  • antzer

    Best Laker of all time on the court Magic/Kobe but best Laker for the orginization is Jerry West! He brought Shaq n Kobe to Laker land and look what he is accomplishing at Golden State!! Bring West back, let him have control over the organization then we will see things turn around!

  • Famechon

    Luv Riley, but Kobe is one of the most hated players by his peers in professional sports.