Reward Will Outweigh Risk in Kobe Bryant’s Contract Extension

Kobe Bryant isn't a franchise player. 

He's a franchise.

The Los Angeles Lakers' front office and ownership know this, and so they acted accordingly. 

Bryant agreed to a contract extension with the Lakers on Monday morning, ending any speculation that he wouldn't be in a Lakers uniform next season. 

BREAKING: The #Lakers and @kobebryant agree to terms on a contract extension. #GoLakers

— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) November 25, 2013 According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles, Bryant's extension is worth $48.5 million over the next two seasons. This deal will also have Bryant maintain his status as the league's highest-paid player going forward, which probably wasn't an accident. 

Kobe's contract will be $23.5 million and $25 million, source tells ESPNLA.

— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) November 25, 2013 We know that Bryant is obsessed with the symbolism of numbers, and this extension should satisfy him in that regard on a few different levels.

Kobe Bryant: 10 years as number 8 and 10 years as number 24. Mamba Mentality.

— Basketball Forever (@Bballforeverfb) November 25, 2013 Now that Bryant's salary number is all settled, the next big numbers he'll be chasing are six and 38,387. That's Michael Jordan's amount of rings (Bryant has five) and the number of points Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the all-time points leader, scored in his career.

It was hard to imagine that Bryant would ever pursue either of those numbers in another uniform, and it's certainly not hard to see the incentive for either side to get a deal done. 

From the Lakers' standpoint, they get to remain loyal to one of the greatest players (and biggest cash cows) to ever live while keeping his legacy cemented solely in Los Angeles. Lakers fans may have literally riote...

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