Establishing What Kobe Bryant’s Contract Should Actually Be

Kobe Bean Bryant is worth every last penny the Lakers will pay him this season and next, totaling almost $60 million. 

Just ask Time Warner Cable, which is shelling out a reported $3.6 billion over the next 20 years to televise Lakers games over their newly formed TWC Sports Network.

Without number 24 around, do you honestly think the cable provider would have shelled out a small fortune and launched an entire sports network?

For those who think the 34-year-old, five time world champion is over the hill or should restructure his current contract to "help" the team's bloated, $100 million payroll, you're not paying attention to just how important Kobe Bryant is to one of the most iconic franchises in sports.

Kobe will earn $27.85 million in 2012-13 and $30.45 million in the final year of his current contract.  By the time he finishes the 2013-14 season, he'll be close to 36—he's already hinted he may walk away from the game at that point.

Bryant has not shut the door completely to an extra season in 2014-15, especially if he remains healthy and hungry for titles.  If he does, you can bet the Lakers will be there to gladly pay him another $30 million. 

Kobe Bryant is so much more than one of the NBA's all-time greatest players. 

He puts people in the seats, whether it's at the regular Staples Center sellouts or on the road, where the Lakers year in and year out are the most attractive visiting team, regardless of their record. 

The reason is Kobe Bryant.

His game is still better than 98 percent of the league—Bryant averaged 27.9 points (second to Kevin Durant by one tenth of a point), 5 assists, 5 rebounds and 38.5 minutes per game last year.  He also helped his team win another gold medal at the Olympic Games this past summer in London.

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