U.S. Men’s National Team Coach Jurgen Klinsmann is using Kobe Bryant’s contract extension as an explanation for why he did not name longtime U.S. veteran Landon Donovan to the World Cup team.
When interviewed by The New York Times Magazine, Klinsmann said, “This always happens in America. Kobe Bryant, for example — why does he get a two-year contract extension for $50 million? Because of what he is going to do in the next two years for the Lakers? Of course not. Of course not. He gets it because of what he has done before. It makes no sense. Why do you pay for what has already happened?”
Bryant, an avid soccer fan, fired back Tuesday on an ESPN studio interview, reports the Bleacher Report.
“I thought it was pretty funny … I see his perspective,” Bryant replied. “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 … 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.”
Different opinions. But we’ll have to wait and see whether Klinsmann’s approach wins out in Brazil.