As Kobe Bryant recovers from his third consecutive season-ending injury, many have begun to talk about when Kobe hang it up for good. Next season will be his 20th with the Los Angeles Lakers and his contract extension also runs out at the end of the year.
On Monday night, Kobe appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and discussed the possibility of retiring after next season, saying that all he’s focused on is returning from his latest injury:
I’m just trying to comeback from this injury where I just take things a day at a time I mean this is a used challenge in front of me right now man. So I just wanna comeback from that, I just dealt with going through nine months of recovery with my Achilles and now I have to do it again, which is fine, I’m up for the challenge.”
Kobe also reiterated that he would prefer not to have a farewell tour similar to those of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Julius Irving:
I don’t wanna play through a year where everybody knows your retiring. They kind of give you the whole swan song, I hate that. I wanna play they way I’ve been playing for the last 19 years. I wanna have the same experiences I’ve had. If you wanna boo, boo. If you wanna heckle, heckle. Those are things I’ll never forget.”
No one is quite sure whether Kobe will really retire after next season. Head coach Byron Scott has said that he believes Kobe could play after next season. The only thing that is for sure is that Kobe won’t be making the announcement beforehand as he would rather the fans boo him on the road than cheer him.
Check out the entire video of Kobe discussing retirement below via the Jimmy Kimmel Live! YouTube channel:[divide]