One of the most hotly debated sports topics over the past few weeks was Jurgen Klinsmann’s decision to leave Landon Donovan off the United States men’s national team roster. Klinsmann has been forced to address the decision time and time again, but it was his recent comments that drew a lot of fire.
“Kobe Bryant, for example — why does he get a two-year contract extension for $50 million? Because of what he is going to do in the next two years for the Lakers? Of course not. Of course not,” Klinsmann said. “He gets it because of what he has done before. It makes no sense. Why do you pay for what has already happened?”
This enraged Pardon The Interruption host Michael Wilbon, who called for Klinsmann to leave the country. What Wilbon might not understand is that is a part of life in the soccer world. There is a lot less loyalty to aging players. Didier Drogba left Chelsea the season after leading them to a Champions League finals win because the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement.
Klinsmann is saying that the outrage over the Kobe comments is all an outrage and the comments were taken out of context.
“I have to say that I think there are some people who tried to take quotes out of context because I’m a big Kobe Bryant fan,” Klinsmann said, via USA Today’s For The Win. “It was said in the same way I have said always. It’s great what you achieved up until now but still you can always prove it today and tomorrow. There was absolutely nothing negative meant towards Kobe, who I admire a lot and who I’ve watched many times.”