Eight years ago, Kobe Bryant put on one of the best revenge performances in NBA history, and it had nothing to do with one of his many rivals on the court. The loudest owner in the NBA, Mark Cuban, tweeted out the Lakers should amnesty Kobe two days before the Mavs were playing the Lakers. That didn’t sit well with Kobe.
A short explanation for those who are not familiar with it – The Amnesty Clause is a clause that allows a team to release one player from their roster and be free of any financial obligations to that player. Each team is permitted to amnesty one player for the entire period of the CBA and must select a player to be amnestied before the start of the season. Basically, it’s a get out of jail free card for one, usually large, contract you can get off the books. You might have heard of it as the “Allan Houston Rule,” because the New York Knicks had signed Allen Houston to a $100M contract that didn’t match his production on the court.
In 2013 Kobe was on the back end of his career and was still earning max-money. It was apparent the time to start thinking about the Lakers post-Kobe was on the horizon, and Cuban suggested the Lakers should cut the cord and start a rebuild. Kobe might not have been able to play his top game every night in an 82 game season, but this was all he needed to show the Mavericks up.
Kobe would respond by hitting 13 of his 21 shots, finishing with 38 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists in a 103-99 Lakers victory. Kobe dropped 14 in the fourth quarter to seal the deal. That night he passed the 31.000 career points mark, and to round the performance off, he tweeted “Amnesty THAT” After the game, Kobe had a funny comment.
“I’m sure if (Cuban) wants to amnesty Dirk (Nowitzki), that’s something we’ll be willing to entertain.”Kobe Bryant
Not only did the Lakers not amnesty Kobe, but they gave him a 2-year, $48.5 million contract extension in 2014. One of the things Kobe was always proud of was the fact he won all his trophies on a max contract. He never had to take a discount to bring other superstars to play next to him – he was the one they came to play with.