Seventeen seasons is a very long time to play in the NBA — the physical and mental wear and tear, the nagging injuries, all of it — and Kobe Bryant realizes the end of his career is very close. Bryant says he will make a decision this summer, and thinks that next year (his 18th in the League) will be the final one. Per NBA.com: “Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, saying he does not want uncertainty over his future to drag through 2013-14 and with the possibility of being offered an extension this offseason, will ‘in all likelihood’ make a decision in the summer over whether to retire after one more season. While re-affirming that he is leaning toward walking away after an 18th campaign, Bryant made it clear he expects to make a call before reporting to training camp and probably even long before that. One factor in the decision is the chance to end all the endless questions. Another is to give the Lakers clarity moving forward, in general, and particularly in conjunction with any contract talks that may take place. ‘We’ll talk,’ Bryant said. ‘I’ll talk to my family and stuff and really see if I want to continue to sacrifice as much as I’m sacrificing right now. I’m putting my body through a lot to just try to get ready to play every single night. To do what I’m doing right now, it’s not easy. I’ll tell you, it’s taken a lot of commitment.’ Is your sense that next season will be your last? ‘As I sit here right now, yeah.’ Is there anything the Lakers can say that would make it more likely you played beyond next season? ‘No,’ Bryant said. ‘It’s my decision. It’s really about what I want to do, if I want to train and be psychotic with my training. That’s what it comes down to. It’s really how I’m feeling physically.’”