At 36-years-old, Kobe Bryant knows the end of his basketball career is drawing near. The superstar shooting guard has only one year left on his contract after this season and many have started to speculate whether he’ll want to continue playing after the 2015-16 NBA season.
On Sunday, Kobe was asked by Sam Amick of USA Today whether he plans on playing beyond his current contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant responded by saying the following:
Nah, not really,” he said with a grin and a shake of the head when asked if he can envision playing beyond his current contract. “But I’m so loyal to this organization, there’s not a chance (of him leaving)…I’ve been really fortunate to win a lot of games here, a lot of championships here. You can’t (expletive) with (that).”
Along with basically saying his playing days are over after next season, Kobe also continued to emphasize his loyalty to the Lakers franchise. Trade rumors have surfaced over the last few weeks of a potential deal to the New York Knicks. Kobe has downplayed any notion of waiving the no-trade clause in his contract to play elsewhere.
At this point in time, all signs point to Kobe retiring after next season in a Lakers uniform after 20 seasons in the NBA. Obviously, there’s a lot that can happen between now and the end of next season, but Kobe appears content with walking away in 2016 after two decades of wearing purple and gold.[divide]
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