EL SEGUNDO (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers signed Kobe Bryant to a two-year contract extension Monday, securing the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history into his 20th season with the franchise.
Bryant hasn’t played this season while recovering from surgery on his torn Achilles tendon in April, but the Lakers didn’t wait to renew their commitment to the five-time NBA champion before he got anywhere close to the free-agent market next summer.
Bryant inked the deal with owner Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak at his side in agent Rob Pelinka’s office moments before the Lakers left for an East Coast road trip. Bryant, Buss and Kupchak all had repeatedly stated Bryant wouldn’t leave his only NBA home.
The 35-year-old guard quickly tweeted a picture of his signature with the hashtag: Laker4Life.
“This is a very happy day for Lakers fans and for the Lakers organization,” Kupchak said in a statement. “We’ve said all along that our priority and hope was to have Kobe finish his career as a Laker, and this should ensure that that happens.”