As the face of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise, ever since the departure of Shaquille O’Neal in 2004, Kobe has led this team to two NBA titles while cementing his legacy as one of the greatest players to ever play the game.
With father time beginning to creep up on the veteran guard, Kobe realizes the end of his career in the NBA is around the corner. Recently, Kobe reiterated his desire to retire after the final year of his contract with the Lakers in two years’ time.
Kobe’s comments on walking away from the game after the 2013-14 NBA season aren’t much of a surprise to those that have followed his every move over the past few years with the future Hall of Famer making his intentions abundantly clearly, but with the recent additions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard many people believe he might change his mind after two years of potentially being the league’s best squad.
Even though the end of Kobe’s basketball career may be near, the five-time NBA champion is more focused than ever on the upcoming season and is apparently feeling better physically than he has in six years.
After a relatively short off-season packed with off-the-court activities and winning a second Gold medal with Team USA, Kobe said the following about all the work he’s put in during the summer via Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com:
“With all the training I put in this summer,” he said, “I feel healthy, I feel strong. I feel ready.”
Over the past week or so, Kobe has been bothered by a nagging foot injury that has kept him out of practice a few times. Fortunately for the Lakers, Kobe is back on the floor and showing signs that he’s more than ready for the season after a monster dunk over new teammate Antawn Jamison in practice.
After watching Kobe throwing down a few in practice, it’s clear that the 16-year veteran is as healthy and ready as he claims to be. There’s no question that he’ll be motivated and ready for the season-opener against the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 30.