By Rich Winter

    The minute Kobe Bryant signed the extension of two years for $48 million dollars, I thought to myself, that is going to kill this Lakers franchise.

    While the deal was most likely to thank Kobe for all his wonderful years of service, in all reality, it will handcuff the Lakers for each of the next two seasons.

     Now, with LeBron opting out of his contract to test the waters of free-agency, don't ya think it's time for Kobe to consider restructuring that deal while the lure of guys like Kevin Love and LeBron James and even Carmelo Anthony are floating around with possibilities?

    The Lakers front-office has promised a very competitive team next season, but I just cannot see that happening with a $24-million price tag hovering over every decision the Lakers can possibly make in the next two years.

     Kobe keeps telling us that he bleeds purple and gold and he's all about the health and welfare of what he calls the greatest organization in basketball, but him taking all of that cash can only hurt this franchise when there are some incredible free agents out there.

       If Kobe were to take $12-million the Lakers would have a real chance to grab a guy like Kevin Love who played his college ball at UCLA.

     While the Lakers are rarely in the lottery they do have some possibilities with that No. 7 pick.

     I keep waiting for someone in that newly revamped Lakers front office to make a smart move, but thus far I just haven't seen that from Jim Buss.

    If Kobe really wants to win and he really wants to protect that 'greatest sports franchise ever' tag then I say it's high time he start acting like it and drop his price tag to a level that would make the Lakers an attractive option.

     Who wants to be underpaid to sit around and watch an aging superstar chuck shots and have a fat contract?

    Not LeBron, I'm guessing.

   C'mon Kobe, the rap on you is that you've always been selfish. Do the right thing and help you team get some quality and quantity for your two-year swan song. 

     (This blog does not reflect the opinions of my co-blogger, White Mamba).