The debate rages on about whether Kobe Bryant will or should retire at the end of the 2015-16 NBA season. Bryant’s contract with the Los Angeles Lakers expires in July with the superstar yet to make a decision about his future.
With every passing day, another former teammate, coach, celebrity or one of Kobe’s peers gives his or her opinion about what the five-time NBA champion should do when the time comes to make a decision.
Rick Fox, who won three titles playing alongside Bryant in Los Angeles, is the latest to chime on the subject. In a roundtable discussion for the Los Angeles Daily News, Fox expressed his belief that this won’t be Kobe’s last year, but it may be his last with the Lakers.
“I don’t think this is his last year. It might be his last year in L.A. But it won’t be his last year in the game. I think he’ll play overseas in China. Or maybe go to New York and be with Derek (Fisher) and Phil (Jackson) and mentor the other players with the triangle offense.”
It’s no secret Kobe’s stardom is on another level in China. The 37-year-old makes the trip overseas during the NBA offseason every year and greeted by thousands upon thousands of diehard fans devoted to the Lakers star.
Although LeBron James is also a star on the global stage, Bryant trumps the two-time NBA champion when it comes to popularity in China. Kobe will almost certainly receive offers to play in China as well as other countries overseas, but there’s no indication whether he’d even consider the move.
Bryant joining the New York Knicks has also become an attractive scenario thrown around in debates. Kobe has said time and time again that he’ll never play for another organization in the NBA, but that stance could change Phil Jackson, and Derek Fisher comes calling next summer.
As of right now, the safe bet seems to be that his basketball career will come to an end after one more tour with Team USA this summer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Bryant hasn’t made any guarantees publicly, but going out with another gold medal may be the way his leaning at this point.