Kobe Bryant: “If you asked me today, this would be my last year”
Kobe Bryant was sitting there with ice on both knees, plus he was hooked up to a machine that kept his surgically repaired shoulder cold. It’s just part of the daily, lengthy routine Kobe has to endure to keep playing NBA basketball.
That’s when the question came: Is this his last year in the league?
Kobe has long denied knowing the answer to that question, but he was channeling a little of Danny Glover’s Roger Murtaugh from Lethal Weapon in giving his answer, as reported by Baxter Holmes of ESPN.
Kobe has been clear about a few things. He’s not going to play for a team other than the Lakers (it would hurt his brand). And he’s certainly not going into coaching. And he does not want a farewell tour (even though his reception at Madison Square Garden Sunday will feel like one).
But whether he is going to retire, I believe him when he says he ultimately doesn’t know yet. I’ve always been in the camp that this will be it for Kobe — if he’s not going to chase a ring with another team, why would he put himself through all this physically to be part of a multi-year rebuilding process he will not be on the court to see the rewards from?
Bottom line, he’s getting too old for this... stuff.