The beginning of Kobe Bryant’s possible farewell tour on the East Coast got underway on Friday night with the Los Angeles Lakers facing the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center.
Although Bryant hasn’t officially said he’ll retire after this season, the consensus seems to be that he’ll walk away once his contract with the Lakers expires next summer.
Kobe was once again asked about potentially retiring after this season and admitted that if he had to make a decision today this would be his last year, via Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times.
Kobe: "If you asked me today, I'd say this would be my last year. But you never know."
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) November 7, 2015
It has been a difficult start to the season for Bryant with the veteran struggling to get into any rhythm on the basketball floor thus far. Kobe’s shooting percentage has been atrocious over the last five games with the future Hall of Famer currently shooting 32.1 percent from the floor and 21.1 from beyond the arc.
Fortunately, the Lakers were able to get their first win of the season in Brooklyn with Kobe Bryant finishing with a team-high 18 points in the win over the Nets going 5-for-16 from the floor.
If Bryant continues to struggle over the course of his 20th NBA season, it’d be safe to assume a retirement announcement will be forthcoming. Kobe is reluctant as ever to admit defeat to Father Time, but it seems as though all the wear and tear on his body over the years may have finally caught up with him.
Only time will tell whether Bryant can battle through the grind of this NBA season and the next or simply call it a career once the current 82-game stint comes to a close for the Lakers.