Kobe Bryant’s career in the NBA is quickly coming to an end. After suffering a third straight season-ending injury with a torn rotator cuff this season, Bryant might only have a maximum of 82 games left with the Los Angeles Lakers, unless they make the playoffs, before walking away from the game.
With Bryant potentially having one more season left before announcing his retirement, the superstar has started to reflect on his career. Bryant recently talked about respecting the process and how his perspective has changed in an interview with Ahmad Rashad of NBATV via Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding:
You get older,” he said, “you start seeing the beauty that’s in that process. … You start trying to find love in that, find the beauty in that—which is completely different than being 21.”
At this point in time, there’s no telling whether Kobe will have anything left in the tank heading into the 2015-16 NBA season. Bryant will battle through another nine-month recovery process after shoulder surgery, but his body clearly hasn’t been able to handle the rigors of an 82-game season for quite some time.
Bryant hasn’t really been the same player since he went down with a torn Achilles tendon back in April of 2013. Kobe played only six games last season in his return from surgery to repair the torn Achilles before suffering a fractured knee cap.
This season, Bryant went down with the rotator cuff injury after only 35 games played. Regardless of the extensive recovery process he’s facing, Bryant remains optimistic he’ll reclaim his dominant form before he ultimately retires.
The Lakers may potentially prolong Kobe’s career or at least make his farewell season competitive with some major moves in the off-season. Los Angeles will likely be a more talented squad next season with the return of Julius Randle and a possible top-five pick as well as bringing in a few free agents.[divide]