In an exclusive interview with Yahoo! Sports, Kobe Bryant discussed the twilight years of his career. But he did let one thing slip, which might be surprising for those who assumed Bryant would play until his legs gave out: retirement is a possibility in two years. Here’s more, via the Los Angeles Times:
“But when Yahoo Sports’ Graham Bensinger reminded him that Bryant mentioned during his rookie season that he would retire at age 35, the Lakers’ star said ‘it’s still probably accurate.’
‘That’s a long time to be playing,’ Bryant said. ‘It’ll be the last year of my contract. I don’t know if I wll play any longer than that. I don’t know. It’s just a possibility. It’s not something I even give it much thought to, but it’s a possibility. It could happen.’”
Bryant’s efficiency has undoubtedly dropped over the last few years – it’s hard to imagine a core of Kobe Bryant (at his best), Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum (in his current evolutionary form) not winning multiple championships. Still, when firing on all cylinders, he’s one of the best players in the league.
While it’s difficult to imagine Kobe fading into the background as an NBA player, refusing to play fourth or fifth wheel on any team, it’s even more difficult to see him hang it up completely, especially near the height of his powers. Most assumed Kobe would follow in Allen Iverson’s footsteps, clinging to the NBA until his legs give out. Then again, A.I. could never ease into a secondary or tertiary scoring role – he still tried to play like 2000-A.I. even when his speed and athleticism just couldn’t hack it anymore. That’s why he fell off the map relatively quickly. So I’ll put my money on the league kicking Kobe out before he says goodbye on his own terms.
Do you think Kobe Bryant will retire in two years?
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