One person who wasn't surprised was Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks franchise player thinks the Lakers got off light and said they should pay him $40 million a year. The max the Lakers could have offered Kobe was $32 million in one season, but Melo's point is that money should be no object when it comes to Bryant.
"They got off easy," Anthony said. "He's Kobe, man . . . I'd at least give him 40 [million] a year and let him bow out gracefully."
The collective-bargaining agreement doesn't allow that, but it tells you how Anthony feels about Bryant: They're friends. Bryant has called Anthony and tried to help him through some tough times in his career. He could be one of the first to call Anthony when he becomes a free agent July 1.
The Knicks are off to a horrible 3-10 start and frustration is mounting, as Melo says it's time for the team to start putting some wins together, and soon.
"When you're losing, it's not fun. Are we having fun on the basketball court? No. The game is not fun right now. When you start pressing, pressing, pressing, it makes everything that much worse. So no, we're not having fun playing basketball right now. We got to get back to that."