El Segundo, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant has signed a two-year contract extension.
Financial terms were not released, but it should enable the 15-time All-Star to finish his brilliant career with the Lakers. He was in the final year of his current contract.
"This is a very happy day for Lakers fans and for the Lakers organization," said Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak. "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 happens. To play 20 years in the NBA, and to do so with the same team, is unprecedented, and quite an accomplishment. Most importantly however, it assures us that one of the best players in the world will remain a Laker, bringing us excellent play and excitement for years to come."
Bryant still isn't ready to play as he continues his recovery from a ruptured Achilles in his left leg. He has returned to practice, but the team is unsure when he will suit up for a game.
The Lakers have won five NBA titles since Bryant joined the team following his trade from Charlotte after the 1996 draft. He was selected with the 13th overall pick in 1996 and traded to the Lakers in a deal that sent Vlade Divac to Charlotte.
Bryant is the Lakers' all-time leading scorer and currently ranks fourth on the NBA's all-time scoring list. He was the NBA's regular-season MVP for the 2007-08 season and was named NBA Finals MVP in the spring of 2009 and again the following year.