Kobe Bryant has been very firm in his belief in regards to the possible TV deal for the NBA and has said that: "We are overpaid, at the same time so are the owners."
Bryant was once again posed the question about the upcoming TV deal and the potential this holds for another lockout season in the NBA.
Bryant and LeBron James have been prominent players in the discussion of wages and when asked about the possible 2017 lockout, the Black Mamba speaks on behalf of a lot of players in today's league.
Kobe's big statement
In a long interview, Kobe explained his opinion on the matter, he said: “Business is business and I think people get that confused very easily, the understanding that players should take less than their market value, substantially less than their market value, so the team can win championships. It’s very easy to look at the elite players around the league and talk about the money they get paid, compare that with the average (salary in America), but we don’t look at what the owners get paid, the revenue they generate off the backs of these players.
He continued: "And now you have a TV deal that comes out and you look at it being up like a billion dollars (a year) from the previous one, and this is coming off the back of a lockout in which the cap, it’s not a hard cap, but it’s pretty close to a hard cap."
Kobe his announcing to his peers on the professional level to fight hard for their market value in the NBA and to take pride in their evaluation when it comes to contract extensions.
He would go on to recognise that overpayment in sport is not only limited to players, that owners of NBA franchises are also pocketing too much money, he explained:
“And now it will be interesting to see what happens in this next labor agreement. It’s my understanding this TV deal kicks in the last year of this current agreement, so I’m sure they will try to lock us out again and harden the cap even more and I think as players you got to hold your ground a little bit. Not be afraid of what the public perception is and instead try to educate the public a little bit and understanding that it’s not about complaining about how much you’re making, because that’s ridiculous — we are overpaid, at the same time so are the owners. And you have to fight for your value."
The same kind of standoff may appear in 2017 while trying to organise a new agreement, we may yet face another lockout in the NBA.
Some owners are ready to still push for a hard cap and some players are ready to be out to get more concessions, greed from both parties could push the league into another position which leaves fans stripped of their basketball viewing.
Bryant speaking on the issue of overpayment stems from the criticism he often receives for his very large two year settlement with the Lakers, when asked about it, he simply responds:
"I’m the luckiest basketball player in the league because I got an organization that takes care of its players.”