Culver City Observer -

Kobe: Retire Or Play Abroad A Year From Now?

He seems Unlikely To Join Another NBA Team


August 13, 2015

By Mitch Chortkoff

Sports Editor

In a few months Kobe Bryant will begin the 20th season of his remarkable Laker career.

Next season he won’t have a contract. So what does he do? There are four ways he can go – retire, sign another Laker contract, play in a foreign country or sign with another NBA team.

Piecing together information I’ve received from numerous sources, I’m ruling out that he’ll cash in as a free agent and play for another NBA team.

The NBA salary cap is soaring and even though Kobe hasn’t completed any of his last three seasons due to injuries it seems he’d be tempted to play somewhere in the league.

But he says “I’m not tempted by the money. I never have been. There’s zero chance I will be now.”

He’s grateful for 20 years with the Lakers. He knows that very few NBA players play their entire careers with the same team.

But Kobe loves being a player and he won’t say that the upcoming season will be his last one.

“I’m not going to decide until after the season,” he says.

He wants to see how his body will hold up. He says his legs feel fine now. But he doesn’t know how he’ll feel after 82 games and perhaps more in the playoffs. His last three seasons have been cut short by injuries.

With that mindset it’s unlikely he’s agree to a final season tour, where the retiring superstar receives gifts from every opposing team and fans in every city honor him with a lot of cheers.

A year from now he might play in another country. I’ve been told Barcelona is a possibility. He’s currently in China where he’s involved in a movie project. He’s setting up a business plan, not likely to be as aggressive as Magic Johnson has been but something like that as a retired player.

Whatever he does he won’t disappear from the spotlight. He’s too successful, to active a person to let that happen.

In the coming season Kobe will play guard and forward. He’ll help guide top draft choice DeAngelo Russell and second year Laker Jordan Clarkson.

The Lakers now have high-scoring reserve guards Nick Young and Lou Williams. Even though Jeremy Lin has moved on there’s sufficient talent to surrender Kobe to the frontcourt at times.

So Kobe might play small forward when Coach Byron Scott wants a small but speedy unit on the floor. Three guards and two big men.

“It won’t make much of a difference,” said Kobe. ‘I’m comfortable at either position.”

Over the years I’ve seen some players stay too long. They love being a star athlete and aren’t ready for retirement.

Kobe will be in demand both on and off the court. I’m confident he’ll know what to do.


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