Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban ruffled some Southern Californian feathers on Friday when, during a local radio appearance, he wondered aloud whether the Los Angeles Lakers should consider using the amnesty provision in the NBA's collective bargaining agreement to shed the contract of Kobe Bryant. While the decision's nearly unthinkable from an image/marketing/public relations perspective, multiple factors — chief among them that Kobe will earn $30.5 million in 2013-14, which is, y'know, a lot — combine to make a fairly reasonable business case for the decision.
While Cuban's comments pointed toward a difficult reality teams paying exorbitant sums to aging players will face in the new NBA economy, they also, as my colleague Eric Freeman wrote Friday, served to tweak the Lakers and their fans ahead of a Sunday showdown between the Lakers and Mavericks. Then again, that might not have been the wisest course of action; we all know that old saying about poking a mamba with a stick, right?
Bryant finished with a game-high 38 points in 38 minutes — 13 for 21 from the field, 4 for 5 from 3-point range, 8 for 10 from the free-throw line — to go with 12 rebounds and seven assists (albeit with five turnovers) in outdueling Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki (30 points on 19 shots, 13 rebounds, three steals) and pushing L.A. to a 103-99 win on Sunday afternoon. Afterward, Bryant took to Twitter to offer an all-time "I told you so," much to the delight of purple-and-gold backers:
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) February 24, 2013
Zing.Read More »from Kobe hangs 38 on Mavs, responds to Mark Cuban’s amnesty thoughts with postgame tweet (VIDEO)