Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant contemplates retirement at the end of contract
Kobe Bryant made a point to highlight that this is the deepest Los Angeles Lakers roster he’s ever played with. At media day, while Kobe Bryant hinted at one day handing over the baton to center Dwight Howard, he still emphasized later that the Los Angeles Lakers were his team. Then again, at 34-year-old, Kobe Bryant still appears to have a lot to offer. After all, Kobe Bryant ranked second in scoring in the league and came in forth during the voting for MVP last season.
And while Kobe Bryant that “one can’t be too sure” when his run ends in the NBA, the five-time NBA champion who is onto his 17th season in the NBA seemed convinced that the end of his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers will mark the end of his career.
"It's just that three more years seems like a really long time to continue to stay at a high, high level of training and preparation and health," stated Kobe Bryant. "That's a lot of years. For a guard? That's a lot of years."
Kobe Bryant’s had a few health issues in the past seasons, which included troubling wrists and knee issues. The past week, we witnessed a lot of speculations about Kobe Bryant’s health condition after he sat out a few practices due to what he called was “training camp legs.”
But Kobe Bryant has been able to deal with the knee issues in the past, especially after he took a radical treatment in Germany last summer and went on to average 39 minutes per game by the end of last season.
However, Kobe Bryant laid it out plainly that possible retirement doesn’t essentially stem from health issues.
“It’s not about health necessarily. It’s about ‘Do I want to do it?’” said Kobe Bryant. “’Do I have that hunger to continue to prepare at a high level?’”
Still, we’ve seen many former NBA players come out of retirement to pick up from where they left. New York Knicks’ Rasheed Wallace too came out of a two-year retirement this season. But, Kobe Bryant is more concerned about the level of impact he makes in the game, and won’t settle for a mere leadership role on the team.
"That's not gonna happen," stated Kobe Bryant. "That's just not me."
Kobe Bryant has set the bar high for himself and even if he doesn’t get to match Michael Jordan’s rings and when the time comes, it appears that the 34-year-old will settle for retirement instead of mediocrity.