We just wanted to take a second to address the Kobe legal situation, and this site’s responsibility to report news about it. Since we’ve received several e-mails asking why we haven’t mentioned it, we thought now would be a good time to address that.
While we definitely have an opinion on the subject, there are hundreds if not thousands of web sites already providing their comments and constant news about Kobe’s legal battle, ad nauseum.
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If something comes up of incredible significance with regards to the Kobe case that we feel we should comment on, we definitely will here. But for now, we intend to continue to bring you Laker stats and latest team information, as that is what we do best. Thanks for all the support!
Karl Malone and Gary Payton are now officially members of the Los Angeles Lakers, after signing contracts shortly after midnight Eastern time on Wednesday.
Malone signed a 2-year deal worth $3 million, while Payton also signed a multi-year contract, which will pay him $4.9 million this season.
Laker team spokesman John Black and general manager Mitch Kupchak had dinner at a West Los Angeles restaurant Tuesday night with Payton and his agent, Aaron Goodwin, and Malone’s agent, Dwight Manley. Lakers front office employees Ronnie Lester and Bill Bertka were also present. Malone faxed in his contract from Arkansas shortly after it was allowed to be signed.
The players will be formally introduced Thursday at Staples Center.
The addition of Malone and Payton to the already potent tandem of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, will give the Lakers one of the more feared starting lineups in NBA history.
Malone will play for a mere $1.5 million, nearly $18 million less than he made last season as a member of the Utah Jazz. While he could of have signed for more money in San Antonio or even Sacramento, the “Mailman” was lured to Los Angeles by the desire to win a championship, and the chance to play along side Gary Payton, Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O’Neal.
The Lakers starting lineup, on paper, could be the most formidable in league history, with four potential Hall of Famers.
Payton and Malone’s agreement to play for very little money for a run at a championship is proof positive that for some players do play to win first.
With these two signings, the Lakers have addressed their two biggest weaknesses from last season, a power forward who can shoot the jumper and rebound in Malone, and a point guard with the stellar offensive and defensive skills of Gary Payton. And they did it all for just over $6 million.
News Link: ESPN – “Malone makes move, heads to Lakers”
Payton’s commitment ends days of speculation that he would get a sign-and-trade offer with Milwaukee, and play for the Portland Trail Blazers, or even sign with the Miami Heat. In the end however, Payton’s desire to win a championship as a Laker was the deciding factor, according to his agent Aaron Goodwin.
Also according to published reports, Payton may end up signing a multi-year deal with the team.
Payton’s verbal agreement may be a signal that future Hall of Fame free agent forward Karl Malone is close to agreeing to play for the Lakers next season as well. Stay tuned!