The minutiae of NBA player contracts can give plenty of casual fans headaches, but they’re mostly fascinating to those of us covering the league, as well as to a certain portion of the more hardcore fans that exist.
We have a feeling that this particular detail of Kobe Bryant’s contract will appeal to ancillary fans and NBA geeks alike.
Bryant is slated to make north of $30 million this season as the league’s highest paid player, a well-deserved honor for being in the final year of a max deal while playing in his 18th NBA season. But players are able to negotiate when those payments are made to a certain extent, and Bryant and the Lakers agreed to a scenario where he’ll receive a very large payment in a lump sum on November 1.
From Eric Pincus and Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:
Negotiated as part of his contract, Bryant receives a balloon payment Nov. 1. On Friday, the All-Star guard will receive $24,363,044 from the Lakers.
Bryant’s salary for the entire season is $30,453,805 — the remaining $6.1 million will be paid out over the course of the season.
While there’s a limit to how much a player can receive in advance, Bryant is right at that 80% maximum.
How and when Bryant gets paid is a semi-juicy detail of his deal with the Lakers, but far more interesting to fans of the team is when he’ll be healthy enough to return to the court after suffering the torn Achilles injury that prematurely ended his season back in April.
There’s still no timetable for Bryant’s return, though most estimates expect for him to be back sometime in December. If nothing else, he’ll have an additional $24 million to keep himself occupied until he’s physically ready to come back.