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Kobe Bryant agrees three-year contract extension with Lakers

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Los Angeles Lakers have signed All-Star guard Kobe Bryant to a three-year contract extension, the NBA champions said on Friday.

Bryant, the 2009 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, is the all-time leading scorer for the Lakers and the 31-year-old is regarded by many as the best all-round player of his era.

"We are extremely pleased we were able to reach an agreement and come to terms on the extension," general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement.

"Kobe has been a cornerstone of the Lakers for well over a decade, helping to lead us to four NBA championships and in the process developing into one of the greatest players in basketball history."

The Lakers did not disclose financial terms of the deal.

With Bryant's signing following Spaniard Pau Gasol's contract extension earlier this season, Kupchak said two of the main targets for the Lakers had now been completed.

"We were able to accomplish those goals, helping to keep the core of this team intact for the foreseeable future and in turn help to ensure the franchise's continued success over the years to come," Kupchak added.

Bryant, a 12-times All-Star, was initially acquired by the Lakers from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Vlade Divac in July 1996.

The youngest player in the NBA to score 25,000 points, Bryant is averaging 27.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.1 assists this season.

(Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Rancho Mirage, California, editing by Frank Pingue)