Bryant insists players aren’t complaining about salaries, just getting their value…
Find NFL International Series tickets
NBA Season Preview 2014/15 Los Angeles Lakers
Bryant pleased with first practice: Veteran back in action and ready for new season after injury woes.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has conceded that players in the NBA are overpaid but he insists that it is a matter of fighting for your market value.
Last week, the NBA announced a new record-breaking nine-year television contract with ESPN and Turner Broadcasting worth a reported $24 billion.
Meanwhile, Bryant signed a new two-year extension with the Lakers worth $48.5m in 2013, and according to ESPN, he will maintain his status as the NBA’s highest-paid player over the course of the extension despite his advanced years.
However, the veteran guard has defended the salaries that the players are paid in the league, and has pointed to the fact that no one looks at the amount that the franchise owners make and how much revenue they generate as a result of the players.
Bryant praised the Lakers for their ability to reward their players and look after them after having a long history within the same franchise, but he has attacked the notion that it is just the players that are overpaid and continually moan about how much they make.
“I think as players, you’ve kind of got to hold your ground a little bit and not be afraid of what the public perception is,” Bryant said.
“Instead, you try to educate the public a little bit and understand it’s not about complaining about how much you’re making, because that’s ridiculous. We are overpaid, but so are the owners. And you have to fight for what your market value is.”
With the new TV deal expected to provide an increase from $1.03 billion in 2015/16 to $1.1 billion in 2016/17, Bryant believes that it will create a hard salary cap and he believes that there is a risk of another lockout in 2017.
Nevertheless, the 36-year-old has reiterated that this is a business and with all parties benefiting from the new TV deal, it is a natural ripple effect that the players will look to demand more too.