Ever since he got older, Kobe Bryant has been significantly more open with the media and has told everyone exactly what’s on his mind. That’s why the Achilles injury he suffered at the end of last season coupled together with ongoing retirement talks, Lakers fans were panicking that they’d never see Bryant back at his greatest.
However, the true competitor he his, Bryant is rehabbing around the clock and according to Ramona Sheulburne of ESPN.com, don’t worry, he won’t be retiring soon:
“Bryant wants to be “back next season with a vengeance,” the source said. And he wants “two more cracks at it to win seven NBA titles at least.”
“In other words, it’s highly unlikely next season will be his last as Bryant and Derek Fisher currently lead all current players with five NBA titles, although the Spurs’ Tim Duncan could tie them if San Antonio beats the Miami Heat in this year’s Finals.”
Many Lakers fans have jumped on the Miami Heat bandwagon as there is the belief that a finals victory by the San Antonio Spurs would suddenly propel Duncan and the Spurs ahead of Kobe and the Lakers in this generation.
Kobe has always used Michael Jordan’s six championships as the benchmark of his career, but in his interview with Dave McMeniman of ESPNLA a couple weeks ago, Bryant seemed at ease with where he is in his career.
While Bryant has maintained that he wants to retire a Laker, at his current cap-hit of $30 million this upcoming season, extension talks will be testy:
“It would be difficult for the Lakers to bring Bryant back at his current salary of $30 million a year with the salary cap restrictions in the new collective bargaining agreement. But the team is determined to treat Bryant well, and with the respect befitting his contributions to the franchise during his career, the source said.”
Bryant is one for the dramatics, and it sounds like he’s concentrated on one goal: being healthy enough to raise more banners in Staples Center.
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