Kobe Bryant has described criticism directed at him by USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann as "comical" today.
The response comes two weeks after Klinsmann, who led the USA to a 2-1 World Cup win against Ghana last night, had used Bryant's huge $48.5 million, two-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers as an example of US sport's obsession with rewarding veterans for past performances rather than focussing on the future.
The wider motive of the former German international's argument was to explain his reasoning behind Landon Donovan's omission from the US World Cup roster.
Bryant however, today responded to the attack on his position as he spoke to ESPN:
"I thought it was pretty funny. I thought it was pretty comical actually." the 16-time All-Star said.
"I see his perspective. But the one perspective that he's missing from an ownership point of view is that you want to be part of an ownership group that is rewarding its players for what they've done whole balancing the team going forward," Bryant continued.
The two figures clearly have different perspectives and you can understand both points of view.
Bryant managed just six games during the Lakers' terrible regular season, hardly the kind of return you would expect for someone pocketing 20-odd million dollars.
From Kobe's perspective however, he has been a monumental figure for the Lakers since arriving in Los Angeles and feels his play warrants a reward as he reaches 36-year of age:
"If you're another player in the future and you're looking at the Lakers organization, you want to be a part of an organization that takes care of its players while at the same time planning for the future.
"Jurgen is a coach, a manager. He's not a GM or owner of the franchise. When you look at it from that perspective, it changes a little bit," Bryant continued.
Klinsmann is in an environment that requires immediate results, with a four week period every four years going a long way to deciding his future in the job. The NBA meanwhile is often a cyclical process in which GMs and owners looks to build dynasties, and one way of doing that is my promising players lucrative deals to stick around at one franchise.
It is fair to say that most of the nation sided with the NBA superstar.
Bryant meanwhile was in Brazil as the USA and Klinsmann overcame their African opponents to secure a crucial win in Group G and did well to laugh off the recent criticism. Although he did have one concern:
"You probably could have used another player as an examples," concluded Kobe Monday.
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