Until he goes to jail that is......
Guard Likely to Sign $136.4 Million Deal Over Seven Years
By JOHN NADEL, AP
LOS ANGELES (July 15) -- Kobe Bryant's journey through free agency ended Thursday where it began -- with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bryant chose the Lakers over the Clippers, remaining with the team he joined in 1996 at age 18 and later helped win three NBA championships.
"Kobe has informed us he's going to stay with the Lakers and sign a new contract," Lakers spokesman John Black said Thursday afternoon. The team planned a news conference for later in the day.
The decision came a day after the Lakers traded fellow superstar Shaquille O'Neal to the Miami Heat. Now, it will be Bryant -- along with incoming coach Rudy Tomjanovich and Heat imports Lamar Odom, caron Butler and Brian Grant -- who will be leading them into the future.
Bryant, who said repeatedly this past season he wanted to be a "Laker for life," is poised to fulfill that declaration. His contract will be worth more than $136.4 million over seven years.
One significant obstacle remains for Bryant before next season. He has pleaded not guilty to felony sexual assault and faces an Aug. 27 trial in Eagle, Colo. He claims he had consensual sex with an employee, now 20, at the Vail-area resort where she worked.
If convicted, Bryant faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation, and a fine of up to $750,000.
Bryant, who turns 26 next month, has averaged 21.8 points in 561 regular-season games over eight seasons. He averaged 24.0 points this past season despite his legal problems and a career-high 30.0 points in the 2002-2003 campaign.
The Lakers had an advantage over the Clippers financially, able to offer a seven-year contract worth $30 million than the Clippers could pay him.
Bryant became an unrestricted free agent when, as expected, he opted out of his contract June 17 -- the same day O'Neal demanded a trade and Phil Jackson was informed he wouldn't return as coach next season.
Bryant also spoke with representatives of the Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks before narrowing the field to the two Los Angeles teams.
07/15/04 16:01 EDT
[SIZE=1]Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.[/SIZE]
Until he goes to jail that is......
[b]M Go Blue.......Gator boots, gator luggage, gator purses... all at cut rate deals!!!!
they better have a prison exemption on that 7 year deal.....but, more importantly, we got SHAQ.......neneneneneneee
LMAO!Originally Posted by thedonz
lookin' good in the Glad Wasabe!....do you have your own set of keys yet???
They should've traded him before he was found guilty. Now they'll be paying a huge salary for nothing.
I HAVE NO TIME NOR THE INCLINATION TO EXPLAIN MYSELF TO THOSE WHO SLEEP UNDER THE BLANKET OF THE VERY FREEDOM THAT I PROVIDE, THEN QUESTIONS THE MANNER IN WHICH I PROVIDE IT - (A Few Good Men)
Originally Posted by thedonz
Who Cares. Nba Blows.
Hey I like the "Too Old" quote!
It wasn't unanimous, but I think the general sentiment was the guys a knob. - Too Old
Are we talking about the guy that cheated blatantly on his wife with a groupie?
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