Jurgen Klinsmann hasn’t made many friends recently.
The U.S. men’s national team head coach has come under fire for a number of different reasons, the most recent being his decision to leave American soccer legend Landon Donovan off the 2014 FIFA World Cup roster.
That decision has sparked a backlash so massive that Klinsmann felt the need to defend himself in a recent interview with the New York Times Magazine.
“This always happens in America,” Klinsmann said in the interview. “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. He gets it because of what he has done before. It makes no sense. Why do you pay for what has already happened?”
Klinsmann apparently struck a nerve with his reference to the Los Angeles Lakers star, because ESPN’s Michael Wilbon went off on the German-born coach during Thursday’s episode of “Pardon the Interruption.”
“I’ve known Kobe Bryant,” Wilbon said. “And you, Mr. Klinsmann, are no damn Kobe Bryant. I mean seriously, Mr. Klinsmann now wants to tell all of American sports how to work. Get the hell out. Get out of America.”
Wilbon wasn’t done.
“You’re supposed to be such a great coach, why are they paying you? They’re apparently paying you for something you did not only yesterday, but somewhere else about 4,000 miles away,” Wilbon said. “I repeat: Get the hell out. When did Klinsmann become an expert on American sports?”
The U.S. is 10 days away from it’s World Cup opener with Ghana on June 16. If Klinsmann hopes to silence the haters, he’d better hope his squad comes to play.
Photo via Twitter/@Sports_VZLA