"Sentimentality is the only sentiment that rubs you the wrong way." - W. Somerset Maugham.
Kobe Bryant: the Lakers' $48.5 million man
"U obviously can't count or read. Let's try this again. The offer presented to me by the Lakers ensures the ability to bring in max talent. #imjusttryintohelpuout lol #dontbslow #keepup #ringsbeforeall." - Kobe Bryant on Instagram.
It's never too early to start thinking about what farewell gift you're going to get Kobe. Monday's announcement of a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension means that the countdown starts now for the Black Mamba's last attack. What do you buy the man who's grossed a quarter-billion dollars in basketball income alone? A Milanese futbol franchise? An authentic Easter Island statue re-carved in Kobe's mold? A "Thanks for the Memories" card penned in Smush Parker's blood?
The bar is high. During his 1988-89 last lap, Kareem Abdul-Jabber received Persian rugs, portable telephones, flutes, saxophones, jukeboxes, rifles, rattlesnake hats, cruises, VCRs and elephant sculptures made out of petrified wood -- and that was just from the other teams. The final Lakers sacrifice included a Rolls Royce, first class tickets to Orlando and a street named after him in Inglewood. The team's beloved late owner, Jerry Buss, bestowed "The Captain" with a tennis court at his Hawaiian home.More »