During a Friday appearance on Dallas radio, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban suggested that the Los Angeles Lakers could possibly use their amnesty clause on Kobe Bryant. The clause is part of the NBA’s latest collective bargaining agreement. It allows a team to get out of a bad contract by cutting a player loose with almost no financial penalty. Cuban said he was just using Bryant as an example, but the Lakers were not amused and called his comments “inappropriate” in an official statement.
After the Lakers beat the Mavericks on Sunday and Bryant scored 38 points he took to Twitter to respond to Cuban. “Amnesty THAT,” Bryant wrote.
According to ESPN, Cuban attempted to clarify his comments before the game. “Any time you try to explain the CBA, it's hard to do without giving an example,” he said. “Whenever the commissioner or anybody talks about the CBA, they talk about Dallas and Tyson Chandler or Dallas and Dirk or whatever. You've got to use examples.”
“I was clear saying it was hypothetical and I didn't expect it to be that way, but it was a good example because they have the highest payroll and the highest-paid player in the league. That's the end of the story.”
Bryant is in the second-to-last year of his contract and will be paid a league-high $30.45 million salary next season. The Lakers team payroll is over $100 million this season and will most likely be in the same ballpark next year as well.
On Sunday, Bryant mentioned the idea of Cuban using the amnesty clause on Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki. “We've always kind of marched to the beat of our own drum (in L.A.), but I'm sure if (Cuban) wants to amnesty Dirk, that's something we'll entertain,” Bryant said.