Apr 2, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann prior to the game against Mexico during a friendly match at University of Phoenix Stadium. The game ended in a 2-2 tie. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jurgen Klinsmann clarifies Kobe Bryant comments


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.”

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers USMNT

  • Shorty (Gerald)

    100% back pedelling. He was loud and clear with his comments earlier. No one “took his quotes out of context”.
    I agree with Michael Wilbon. Klinsmann, leave the country! If you don’t like our American ways, than leave!

    • KTDMM

      Very silly to tell somebody to leave the country because he does not agree with somebodies pay, shows how great we are as host to other countries, while we live around the world telling people how to live. Hmmmm…

  • magnus117

    Klinsmann is right. That contract extension makes no sense and it only hinders the organization possibilities to rebuilt the team for the future. To the Lakers, Kobe is a brand. Kobe Bryant at this point is a figure for marketing, not a centerpiece for a championship. He might take the Lakers into the playoff but not in the same way (or upside) as James, Paul, Durant, or even Dragic. That train left the station a long time ago. What Klinsmann has said is pure truth, and as such it is met with hostility because it threatens the status quo. People react with vehement hostility because of some sort of misplaced emotional loyalty fans have towards their favorite celebrities. Athletes come and go, Kobe is no different. As far as Michael Wilbon, his comments show his true colors. He might not be a racist, but he is still a bigot. He is a xenophobe to be precise. Berating an immigrant the way he did, is just as violent as racial slurs. By his recent actions, Wilbon is no different than Sterling. They are both a cancer to our society.

  • Pessimisticchiefsfan

    No need to withdraw comments. He is 100% correct.