It has been almost two weeks since Kobe Bryant played his last game in the NBA. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar put on a show at the Staples Center on April 13 scoring a season-high 60 points in front of a crowd of diehard fans, celebrities, and former teammates.
Bryant walked away from the game after arguably the greatest final performance of any athlete in the history of professional sports. The five-time NBA champion immediately got to work at his company, Kobe Inc., the day after his retirement and had yet to do an interview until now.
Kobe made an appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show for his first post-retirement interview and admits he has no regrets about walking away from the game:
“Yeah, it feels right to me,” Kobe on retiring this year. “I’m very blessed to be able to say, ‘I just don’t want to play anymore.’ It’s not like my body forced me out. I don’t want to do it anymore. I’m ready to move on.”
Although Bryant won’t be suiting up for the Lakers again, Kobe playing recreationally will likely happen. Degeneres asked if Bryant plans to play basketball in a recreational capacity during his retirement:
“Yeah, probably,” Bryant said. “Probably.”
With Bryant heading into retirement, the former Lakers star leaves quite a legacy behind that won’t soon be forgotten. Kobe’s next appearance at the Staples Center may be when the franchise decides to retire his number or numbers.
The team hasn’t made an announcement on when the number(s) retirement may take place, but it wouldn’t be all that surprising if it happened at some point during next season. Also, Bryant, much like his former teammate Shaquille O’Neal, will almost certainly have a statue outside of the Staples Center in the near future.