Kobe Bryant has defended comments made by teammate Steve Nash in a recent interview.
In the interview Nash honestly explained that he would return for the Lakers next season predominantly because he wanted the money he had been promised in his contract.
And, speaking to Darrell Rovell of ESPN, Bryant today lamented the fact that highly paid athletes had to be shy about their wealth:
"It goes into the whole idea about what athletes are supposed to be.
"We all play the game 'cos we love the game...but at the same time it is a job.
"At the end of the day you've got to cash that check," he explained.
Bryant, who himself has missed the majority of this season since signing a new two-year $48.5 million deal in November 2013, explained that he can understand Nash's viewpoint:
"For whatever reason, when an athlete talks about that (his or her earnings), or talks about business or getting paid what he or she is worth all of a sudden red sirens go off and 'you're not supposed to do that' and 'you're supposed to be playing for free'...
"And yeah I would play for free, but while I'm playing for free these owners are making billions and billions of dollars. But it's ok for them to talk about that but it's not ok for the athlete to talk about that.
"It makes no sense," declared Bryant.
The Lakers legend has made a number of controversial comments while sitting out for the franchise recently.
And his declaration that athlete's should not be admonished for highlighting their earnings can now be added to that list.
We can understand where Kobe is coming from to a certain extent. It is a job at the end of the day, but when you are one of the highest-earning athletes in the world you should probably show a little more tact when discussing it.