Back in October of 2012, Kobe Bryant said that he could possibly retire from the NBA and the Los Angeles Lakers in two years. With this season winding down, a report from NBA.com on Sunday, March 31, 2013, says that Bryant is still thinking that next season will be his last and there really is nothing the Lakers could do or say to change his mind.
Bryant knows there is the possibility of being offered a contract extension after this season since his current contract has one year remaining. With that being said, he has said that “in all likelihood,” he will decide his future plans this summer.
He told NBA.com in an interview that his 18th season is still looking to be his last, and he wants to end all the endless questions. He wants to give the Lakers some clarity going forward and expects to talk with them.
“We’ll talk,” Bryant said after piling up 19 points, 14 assists against one turnover and nine rebounds while playing all but 23 seconds of the 103-98 victory over the Kings at Sleep Train Arena. “I’ll talk to my family and stuff and really see if I want to continue to sacrifice as much as I’m sacrificing right now. I’m putting my body through a lot to just try to get ready to play every single night. To do what I’m doing right now, it’s not easy. I’ll tell you, it’s taken a lot of commitment.”
Is your sense that next season will be your last?
“As I sit here right now, yeah.”
Is there anything the Lakers can say that would make it more likely you played beyond next season?
“No,” Bryant told NBA.com. “It’s my decision. It’s really about what I want to do, if I want to train and be psychotic with my training. That’s what it comes down to. It’s really how I’m feeling physically.”
Injuries and the toll on his body is a big reason that he could possibly hang it all up. He’s been banged up this entire season and things have only gotten worse at times. Kobe Bryant could retire and be gone after just one more season in the NBA.
Then again, Kobe Bryant may not retire at all. That is something we all have to wait and see.
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