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Kobe Bryant Reportedly Will Pay $13 Million in Taxes on $24 Million Payment

Alex KayCorrespondent INovember 3, 2013

Kobe Bryant may have just cashed in on a $24 million-plus payday this past Friday, but unfortunately for the Los Angeles Lakers superstar, he could lose as much as 55 percent of that to taxes.

According to Darren Rovell of ESPN, the Black Mamba may only take home something in the range of $11 million after paying upwards of $13 million to the government via various taxes.

Apr 9, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA;  Los Angeles Lakers power shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) in the second half against the New Orleans Hornets at the Staples Center. Lakers won 104-96. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Rovell spoke with Robert Raiola—a certified public accountant who works with the sports and entertainment department at FMRTL—who confirmed that Bryant is subject to a top-rate federal tax at 39.6 percent of his earnings, as well as 13.3 percent additional withholdings from the state of California.

Along with Medicare tax and surcharges, the 35-year-old superstar will be looking at retaining just $10.9 million of his most recent check, per Raiola.  

Considering Bryant hasn’t played a minute of the 2013-14 NBA campaign—for which he is still owed $6.1 million of his $30,453,805 salary, as per Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times—it could be worse.

Bryant is currently in the midst of recovering from a torn Achilles that prematurely ended his 2012-13 season. He’s yet to announce a timetable for his return, although his most recent comments suggest that he is getting closer to 100 percent. 

According to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, the 15-time All-Star had this to say last week concerning his rehabilitation: “This week has been pretty well. I’ve been able to push pretty hard and the next day come back and push hard again. The recovery of it has been pretty good.”

Bryant’s contract is fully guaranteed, meaning he would be paid the entire sum even if he doesn’t spend a single second on the hardwood for the Lakers this year.

Hopefully that isn’t the case and he can return to the court sooner than later. Los Angeles is currently 1-2 heading into Sunday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, and it is clear that this team needs its best player back to remain competitive.  

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