Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Believes Kobe Bryant Won’t Play Beyond 2015-16 Season
Kareem Abdul-jabbar Believes Kobe Bryant Won’t Play Beyond 2015-16 Season
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers will have an incredibly tough decision to make come July if able to stay healthy throughout the 2015-16 NBA season. Bryant has been adamant over the last few months that he hasn’t made a decision on whether he’ll retire or attempt to extend his NBA career next summer.

The majority of Lakers fans are hoping Bryant can stay healthy and return for a 21st season with the team. Kobe coming back for another 82-game ride with the Lakers is a likely scenario if his body holds up, but some believe it’ll be time to walk away from the game.

In a recent interview with John Hareas of NBA.com, Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was asked whether he believes Bryant will be playing beyond this season:

Kobe Bryant will play beyond this season: True of False?

KAJ: False

One of the reasons Bryant may have initially wanted to play as long as possible was to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. Kobe moved up to third on the all-time list last season passing Michael Jordan and now is sitting at 32,482 career points, but Karl Malone (36,928) and Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) are still way ahead of him.

Although Bryant was thought to have a chance to at least match Malone and potentially make a run at Kareem’s point total, it no longer seems possible even if Kobe were to extend his career another two years. Abdul-Jabbar was also asked whether anyone would pass him on the list of the NBA’s elite scorers, via Hareas:

Will anyone break your all-time scoring mark?

KAJ: I know it can be done but they are gonna have to play a long time

Bryant is the only active player in the league within striking distance of Malone and Kareem. Although Dirk Nowitzki (28,119) is at number seven on the all-time scoring list and will likely pass former Laker Shaquille O’Neal (28,596) at number six, the Dallas Mavericks star forward probably won’t get much higher than that. Wilt Chamberlain is ahead of Shaq at number four with 31,419 points.

There’s currently eight players in the in the top 25 of the NBA’s all-time scoring list including Bryant and Nowitzki. Tim Duncan (14), Kevin Garnett (15), Paul Pierce (16), LeBron James (20), Ray Allen (22) and Vince Carter (25) have all cracked the top 25, but outside of LeBron, none of these active players have a real shot of breaking into top five or higher.

You May Also Like

Lakers News: LeBron James Tied With Wilt Chamberlain For 5th-Most Triple-Doubles In NBA History

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is tied with legend Wilt Chamberlain for the fifth-most triple-doubles (78)…

Lakers Rumors: Raptors D-League Coach Jesse Mermuys To Join Luke Walton’s Staff

While Luke Walton finishes up his obligations with the Golden State Warriors, he and the Los Angeles Lakers continue to work on filling out his coaching staff…

Some Lakers Players, Dr. Jusy Seto Already Wearing Oura Ring To Help With Sleep Patterns

Among the many things being discussed in order to protect NBA players in a potential return to play in July has…

Lakers Draft Workouts: Bryant, Kuzma, Williams-Goss, Beachem, Hawkins, White

The Los Angeles Lakers worked out six draft prospects on Monday morning, in preparation for the 2017 NBA draft: V.J. Beachem, Andrew White, Nigel Williams-Goss, Kyle Kuzma, Dominique Hawkins, and Thomas Bryant…