A few weeks ago, five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant let it be known that he may be ending his NBA career after two more seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers.
With two more years left on his contract with the Lakers, calling it a career seems to make sense for the future Hall of Famer as he may have nothing left to prove with potentially one or more rings added to the trophy case.
During his time in London, England with Team USA, Kobe has been asked a lot questions about his future in the NBA and his plans after basketball. In an interesting turn of events, Kobe expressed interest in finishing his basketball career in Europe via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
“It would be natural for me to go do it. It wouldn’t be a stretch at all. I grew up here….”
Kobe also alluded to Spain, Turkey or Italy being likely destinations for the perennial NBA All-Star. Playing in Italy to finish his extremely successful basketball career may be the direction that Kobe might be leaning towards with his playing days beginning in Italy during his childhood while watching his father, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant playing for four different Italian teams from 1984-1991.
At this point in time, it’s hard to speculate on how Kobe will walk off into the sunset. With the Lakers bringing in Steve Nash for the next three years and possibly landing Dwight Howard via trade before next season, Kobe might lean toward extending his career in the NBA after the final two years of his current contract.
Even though the presence of Nash and possibly Howard may change Kobe’s mind in the near future, it’s no secret that he’s considering life after playing in the NBA. Taking his talents to Italy, Spain or Turkey makes perfect sense with it posing another challenge for the then 35-year-old, but it still remains to be seen if he is willing to walk away from the Lakers after two more years if the team is still a NBA title contender.