Monday, August 6th, 2012 at 11:40 am  |  32 responses

Kobe Bryant Thinks it Would Be ‘Natural’ to End His Career in Europe

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

Kobe Bryant has talked about finishing out his basketball-playing days in Europe before. Bryant grew up in Italy, and speaks fluent Spanish and Italian. Bryant is also hugely popular internationally.

And now, as he enters the twilight of his NBA career, Kobe believes a year or two of hoops across the pond might be a fitting way to end things on the court.

Per Yahoo! Sports:

“It would be natural for me to go do it. It wouldn’t be a stretch at all. I grew up here.” Bryant plans to play out the final two years of his Lakers contract and reassess everything. He’s still performing on an All-Star level, and his knees are holding up with his 34th birthday approaching this month. As the son of Italian League star Joe Bryant, he lived in Italy for several years as a child. His memories of Italy’s pro league plush, Bryant still gushes over witnessing the scoring genius of Brazilian star Oscar Schmidt in Italy.

“You’d have to look at the market and what’s going on in terms of the level of basketball being played,” Bryant said. “I understand there’s a high level of competitive basketball in Turkey now. They might have the best league in Europe. Spain has obviously been one of the top leagues for a long time. And Italy is a place that’s dear in my heart, I grew up there, but the level is not where it used to be. When I was growing up over there, that was the best league in Europe.”

You may recall that Kobe Bryant was in discussions with Virtus Bologna of the Italian League about temporarily playing for them during the NBA Lockout last summer, but those talks never went anywhere.

Once he hangs up his NBA jersey for good — a possibility two years from now — it’s not an entirely far-fetched idea to imagine Kobe returning to Europe for one final hoops adventure.

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  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Kobe’s not the regular NBA dude. Speaks multiple languages. Different upbringing than most of the other star players. I could see him finishing overseas.

  • pposse

    thats cause in Europe he can probably make near 50 million in one season.

  • Sam J

    I’d love kobe to do that, that way he would increase the popularity of it in europe, I wish the BBL in britain had the money and the popularity of europe.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    I don’t see it happening. Three more seasons with the Lakers, and he’ll call it a day.

  • jayrose

    If his knees hold up, I can see him following through.

  • Beezy

    This would be awesome not only for the NBA but the entire world especially in times we are going through now, the game can help on an even higher scale economically. Kobe, the worlds most popular player would start a trend leading all of these players following him over there creating an NBA Euro League. THis would make basketball around the world even more popular than soccer because basketball is actually fun to watch and how could you not want to watch this night in and night out. Teams could have a euro tour midway through the season for a month or two where it would count on the record and then at the end of the season, U.S. vs. Euro champion would play to decide who is the “world” champion. Please tell me this doesn’t make sense to do. David Stern you need to recognize and believe that this makes sense to authorize. Basketball is a sport that is taking over the world, and it is in your hands, please make this happen!

  • http://www.nba.com/knicks danpowers

    i wish jordan wouldve done the same thing instead of coming back in a wizards uni to spoil his legacy (at least a little bit of it)

  • LA Huey

    I could see him do one or two tours in Europe

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Co-Sign GP23.
    He wants NBA accolades and he is going to be an elder statesmen going over there so he’s not going to set any European records. He’ll retire within 5 year in the NBA.
    Or who know’s maybe he’ll become an end of game shooter and post up player for some squad over there in limited mins. No one know’s, including Kobe.

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    turkey might have the best league in europe? lmao
    the acb is waaaaay ahead

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    This would be good for basketball for the World!!!


    LOL. like it’s natural to put up 32 shots per.

  • ALD

    its natural to be attracted to the white girls.

  • LA Huey

    ^LOL. cosign

  • Mike Gilbert

    cosign ALD lmfao

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance

    Hey, Vanessa Bryant is Latina and she has a shirt to prove it!

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/10/nfl-players-advice-to-lebron-james-stick-to-basketball/ shutup

    I can see his career ending in a heap on the floor, alla Patrick Ewing or Alonzo Mourning. Dude is gonna disrespect father time one tooo many times and something with a “cl” on the end of it or some complicated medical term will choose when his career ends.

  • bdogg

    lets get the gold first, another championship and than we can talk! i do agree i see him done in 2 years! i think he should play agent mamba and save the nba from alen adam silver taking over from lord stern! boom! next men in black movie! holla!

  • bike

    I wonder if Kobe learned anything from Jordan’s end of career exit. These ultra-competitive personalities never seem to want to exit gracefully. They convince themselves they alway have one more season.
    There would be nothing natural about Kobe going through the motions on some team in Europe. It would actually be rather sad.

  • SeanMagicJuan

    Breezy, take it easy. A 36 year old Kobe Bryant will not influence current NBA players to go to Europe in their prime years. You Kobe fanatics are borderline stalker level.

  • lakeshow

    nice half ball stopper

  • http://www.nba.com/knicks danpowers

    he wont do too much in europe anyway. refs over there dont call too many ticky tack fouls and the game is way tougher for guards. its less one on one ball and more of team play plus you really have to play a direct pass that immediately to a basket. they call traveling and shoving the ball properly etc… he would be a nice player but wont put up impressive numbers. i cant imagine that his europe stint would become what he imagines. dont believe it? ask deron williams and allen iverson.

  • Magic Fan

    dan has a crazy imagination

  • Rnz

    Dang, seeing all this talk about Kobe is about to retire from the NBA in two years makes me feel old

  • http://www.slamonline.com Chinese Oppenheimer

    Californians have no real identity or culture. See above comments for proof.

  • Brad09

    when its all said and done maybe kobes impact on the game of basketball can measure up to jordans, it seems the foreign influence is increasing year to year in the sport

  • http://www.slamonline.com Redd

    Slam you’re messed up for keeping me from replying on the Melo thread

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4FqOUz-Ia4 Ugh

    Marcel, you know Kobe is going to send people round to your house for saying he’s “entering the twilight”, right?

  • gusisit

    rudy gay is the most underated player in the nba……….

  • gusisit

    wait, i couldnt of? usaually every thread turns into a laker convosation, so changing the subject isnt that bad of a thing

  • gusisit

    wait, i couldnt of? usaually every thread turns into a laker convosation, so changing the subject isnt that bad of a thing

  • ALD

    rudy gay is not underated… because he is an athletic joe johnson.