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LA Lakers' Kobe Bryant laughs off USA's Jurgen Klinsmann's criticism

The Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard did not agree with comments made by the coach of the United States soccer team.

Kobe Bryant has brushed off comments made by Jurgen Klinsmann after the coach disparaged the Los Angeles Lakers for rewarding the shooting guard's past accomplishments with a huge contract.

Bryant, a former MVP and 16-time all-star, missed the majority of the 2013-14 season with a ruptured achilles and later a fracture in his left knee. When he did play, he looked a shadow of his former self, but the Lakers still granted him a two-year contract extension worth $48.5 million.

Klinsmann, the coach of the United States national soccer team, criticised the team for the move as he feels that Bryant's best days are behind him, and the shooting guard took exception to his comments.

"I thought it was pretty funny," Bryant said. "I thought it was pretty comical, actually. I see his perspective. But the one perspective that he's missing from an ownership point of view is that you want to be part of an ownership group that is rewarding its players for what they've done, while balancing the team going forward."

He said that Klinsmann's position as a coach means he is unable to view the situation from an owner's standpoint.

"Jurgen is a coach, a manager," he added. "He's not a GM or owner of the franchise. When you look at it from that perspective, it changes a little bit. But you probably could have used another player as an example."

The Lakers are well known for rewarding their best players, they famously gave Magic Johnson a $25 million contract over 25 years in 1981. Bryant believes it is all part of the franchise's brand, and is and important factor in attracting superstars to join the team.

"If you're another player in the future and you're looking at the Lakers organization, you want to be a part of an organization that takes care of its players while at the same time, planning for the future," he said.

Bryant will hope that the near future of the franchise will bring championship glory as he chases his sixth NBA title.

While his giant contract limits their cap space, they still have room to bring in one max-level player, whether it is Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James, in order to make one last run at the Finals with number 24.

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