Over the past week or so, Phil Jackson has done the rounds on different sports talk shows talking about everything from the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and his intention never to coach in the NBA again. On Jan. 30, Jackson talked to former Laker current NBA TV analyst Rick Fox about Bryant and his recent contract extension via Bill Oram of OC Register:
On NBA TV, Phil Jackson says he agreed with extending Kobe for two years but that the Lakers “paid him more than I would have gone for.“
Before returning from his Achilles injury back in December, Bryant signed a two-year contract extension with the Lakers for $48.5 million. The deal took everyone by surprise as no one knew the superstar and the storied franchise were deep in discussions on an extension.
With Bryant yet to play a single game since injuring his Achilles, the Lakers agreeing to such a lucrative deal for another two years was questionable. Even though Bryant is a huge draw in terms of attendance at the Staples Center and sells a lot of Lakers memorabilia, signing a 35-year-old coming off surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon isn't something many NBA teams would be willing to do.
Jackson also recently talked about Bryant taking on Michael Jordan in a hypothetical one-on-one showdown. The former Lakers and Chicago Bulls head coach believes Jordan would've come out on top in that matchup between Jordan and Kobe.
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