Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was known as one of the most driven, obsessive players to ever step foot on an NBA court. As such, many wondered how he would handle retirement as basketball had consumed so much of his life.
As it turns out, Bryant has kept himself extremely busy with his off-court pursuits, winning an Oscar and even seeing one of his investments grow substantially. But that hasn’t stopped speculation about a potential return to the court from popping up.
The most recent rumbling was that Brant was set to return not to the NBA, but to play in the BIG3 League next year. That, however, was shot down by the chief marketing officer of Kobe Inc., via Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press:
Forget that Kobe to the #BIG3 idea. Molly Carter, chief marketing officer of Kobe Inc., says he definitely is not playing next year.
— Brian Mahoney (@briancmahoney) August 21, 2018
Bryant joining the BIG3 has been something that has been talked about for some time. The league has a number of recognizable former NBA players, some of whom recently had to remind a reporter on Bryant’s greatness.
BIG3 League founder and Ice Cube, a diehard Lakers fan, has admitted to asking the five-time champion multiple times to come and play despite being turned down each time.
This, of course, isn’t the first Bryant return rumor this summer as many began speculating that Kobe would make a return to the Lakers following the franchise’s signing of LeBron James in free agency. Former teammate Shaquille O’Neal got in on stirring the pot by claiming Bryant would come out of retirement to play with James.
Nonetheless, despite many wanting to see him back on a basketball court in some form, that just doesn’t look to be in the cards. Bryant could perhaps play in the BIG3 one day as the league does seem to be gaining popularity and his star power would be a huge boon.
But for now, Bryant remains happily retired.