As we all know, Team USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann created a firestorm when he announced his roster for the World Cup a few weeks ago. Most people were upset that longtime USA captain Landon Donovan was left off the team. While explaining his reasoning on why he left Donovan off the team, Klinsmann threw Bryant under the bus basically saying Bryant is getting paid off of what he did in the past. Bryant who is down in Brazil said that he heard Klinsmann’s comments and actually laughed about them.
“I thought it was pretty funny. I thought it was pretty comical actually,” Bryant said. “I see his perspective. But the one perspective that he’s missing from an ownership point of view is that you want to be part of an ownership group that is rewarding its players for what they’ve done while balancing the team going forward. If you’re another player in the future and you’re looking at the Lakers organization, you want to be a part of an organization that takes care of its players while at the same time planning for the future. Jurgen is a coach, a manager. He’s not a GM or owner of the franchise. When you look at it from that perspective, it changes a little bit. But you probably could have used another player as an example.”
I think both guys have valid points but Bryant’s makes a lot more sense. Nowadays, players pay attention to if teams reward their best players with nice contracts. The World Cup happens every four years so I don’t think you can compare it to basketball.