Kobe Bryant receives $24 million lump-sum payment from Lakers
Kobe Bryant was paid more money by the Lakers on Friday than any other NBA player will earn during the entire 2013-14 season.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the five-time champion received a lump-sum payment of $24,363,044 from the Lakers, an amount that represents roughly 80 percent of his league-leading $30.5 million salary.
Negotiated as part of his specific contract, Bryant receives a balloon payment on Nov. 1. On Friday, the All-Star guard will receive $24,363,044 from the Lakers.
While there’s a limit to how much a player can receive in advance, Bryant is right at that 80% maximum.
ESPN.com notes that more than half of Bryant’s annual salary could go to taxes.
Bryant’s total take home of the $24.3 million check is subject to heavy taxes, which could total as much as 55 percent of his salary. That would reduce his take-home pay to closer to $11 million, according to Robert Raiola, a certified public accountant who heads up the sports and entertainment group at FMRTL in Cranford, N.J.
Bryant’s salary this season is the second-largest salary in NBA history, behind the $33.1 million Michael Jordan made in 1997-98.
After Bryant, the next highest paid NBA player is Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, who will earn $22.7 million this season. Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire ($21.7 million), Nets guard Joe Johnson ($21.5 million) and Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony ($21.4 million) round out the top five highest-paid players.
Back in January, Forbes valued the Lakers at $1 billion, the league’s second-highest valuation after the Knicks ($1.1 billion). In 2012, Bloomberg.com reported that the Lakers and Time Warner Cable agreed to a 20-year, $3 billion television deal.
Bryant ranked No. 4 on SI.com’s “Fortunate 50″ list of the highest-paid professional athletes back in May. He was No. 2 among NBA players, trailing only Heat forward LeBron James, with an estimated annual take of $46.9 million, which included $19 million in outside endorsements. Bryant also ranked No. 3 on the NBA’s global jersey sales for the 2012-13 season, trailing James and Bulls guard Derrick Rose.
The 2013-14 season represents the final year of Bryant’s current contract and he is set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Lakers executive Jim Buss told ESPNLA.com recently that he believes organization and player will reach agreement on a new deal before the July free agency period.
Bryant, 35, has career earnings of $279 million, including this season. He is out indefinitely after tearing his Achilles back in April.
The Lakers lost to the Spurs 91-85 at the Staples Center on Friday, dropping to 1-2 on the season.