De’Aaron Fox says nobody would care if Kobe Bryant disagreed with NBA players prioritizing money over titles

Mike Battaglino
4 Min Read

De’Aaron Fox invoked the name of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant in a social media response to Stephen Jackson comparing the amount of money players make relative to them winning a championship.

Fox’s reply came after Jackson posted a video to social media saying that players accepting $50 million with a championship reflects better than making $100 million with no titles.

“I’m tired of seein’ this s— on Instagram comin’ from basketball players,” Jackson said. “And that’s why a lot of y’all are losers. If you ain’t come from nothin’ then you understand why people say they would rather $50 million and a championship.

“‘Cause I care about bein’ the best at what the gift God gave me. It would suck to play the game of basketball and never say you was a champion, you was never the best in the world.

“$50 million is enough for people who come from nothin’. We know how to make that work. That $50 million is like $200 million to us. But it goes to show the people who struggled and the people who didn’t struggle.

“Talkin’ about ‘I’ll take a $100 million and f— the championship.’ Nah, I’ll take $50 million and that championship. But you not a winner. You don’t wanna be the best. You just wanna maintain and just go along.

“Nah, that’s the difference between a lot of the champions and y’all. Y’all made y’all money, but y’all wasn’t the best at nothin’.”

Bryant made more than $323 million in salary and millions more with off-the-court endeavors.

Jackson himself is an NBA champion, winning the title with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003. He made more than $65 million during his 14-year career which ended in the 2013-14 season with the Los Angeles Clippers, his eighth NBA team.

Fox and Bryant were never NBA teammates with the 25-year-old about to play his seventh season for the Sacramento Kings after making his debut in the 2017-18 campaign.

Bryant’s legacy remains strong among NBA players to this day. It also extends to other sports, with San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. recently wearing cleats in his honor and tennis legend Novak Djokovic referencing him in his remarks after winning the 2023 US Open.

The Lakers legend also comes up whenever discussions regarding the greatest player of all time arise, with Byron Scott and Jordan Clarkson among those mentioning Bryant.

The franchise this summer also announced plans to honor the late superstar with a statue outside Arena to be unveiled in February. It reportedly will be one of several physical tributes in honor of the icon, who was among nine people who died in a helicopter crash in January 2020.

Bryant spent his entire 20-year career with the Lakers and averaged 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game while making 44.7 percent of his shots from the field and 32.9 percent of his 3-pointers.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.