The saga continues for Kobe Bryant as the debate rages on about whether the five-time NBA champion will call it a career after the 2015-16 NBA season. Bryant’s contract with the Los Angeles Lakers will expire next summer with the superstar still up in the air about his immediate future.
Although Bryant has left the door wide open for a return to the Lakers next season, plenty of pundits have chimed in on the subject. From former teammates and players, most believe the five-time champion will retire at the end of this season.
Two-time NBA champion and current NBA analyst, Brent Barry, also thinks Bryant’s career will come to an end after this season as he told ESPN’s Ryan Russillo:
Personally, I don’t think he plays next year. If his performance doesn’t improve, that was one factor, if the team’s performance doesn’t improve, but he’s been part of what the team has been doing on the wrong side of things this year. So, I don’t know how one isn’t interconnected with the other. I just can’t see Kobe going through what he’s gone through in the first month of the season again next year mentally, physically, and what it is doing to the franchise.”
With all the talk of Bryant wanting to play for Team USA one last time this summer, Kobe may already have his plan mapped out about how he wants to end his basketball career.
As all great athletes in the twilight of their careers do, Bryant seems to be holding out hope that his body will come around giving him a shot to extend his career. That doesn’t appear to be happening, but as stubborn as Bryant is, he doesn’t want to put an expiration date on his days with the Lakers just yet.