The Lakers had hoped that the lure of playing alongside Kobe Bryant, in Los Angeles, and for one of the NBA’s most historic franchises would be enough to draw in a big name signing in free agency this year.
They did try their hardest to get that big name, hooking up with LeBron James’ representatives as well as giving New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony a personal tour of all things Lakers over the summer.
But in the end they failed with both James and Anthony deciding against coming to LA and leaving the Lakers with nothing more than a decent amount of salary cap and a roster that looked more D-League than Playoff contenders.
In the end the Lakers did bring in Jeremy Lin thanks to that abundance of cap space, but that’s not exactly the type of franchise altering move many were hoping for. And many people are blaming Bryant and his new contract for the reason why the Lakers will struggle so much, not just this year but in the recent future as well.
The Black Mamba himself says his $23 million dollar salary this season - $30 million last year - isn’t to blame for some of the Los Angeles Lakers woes, though Basketball Insiders doesn’t appear to agree.
Answering a question, Nate Duncan agreed that Bryant’s contract extension was one of the Lakers worst decisions in it's history.
"And you are right, most of those moves were pretty bad, the Kobe extension being the most egregious of those."
The only person that the deal makes sense to is Bryant, Bryant's agents, and Bryant's bank. The deal has stunted the Lakers chances to be good in the now and it's only when that deal expires will they have a chance. That is if Kobe decides to take a paycut.