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Tuesday, October 9th, 2012 at 10:15 am  |  42 responses

Kobe Bryant Sounds Ready to Retire After the 2014 Season


Increasingly, Kobe Bryant has talked about his basketball mortality, seemingly at ease with the reality that his NBA journey is nearing its end. Bryant tells CBS Sports that he has a really hard time picturing himself in the League past the 2013-2014 season: “… Bryant conceded that, in all likelihood, the finish line and the conclusion of his current contract will be one in the same. Bryant has two years left, and though he was careful to point out, ‘One can never be too sure,’ he made it clear in the next breath it’s almost unfathomable he would play beyond 2013-14, which would be his 18th season. ‘It’s just that three more years seems like a really long time to continue to stay at a high, high level of training and preparation and health,’ Bryant said. ‘That’s a lot of years. For a guard? That’s a lot of years.’ Even after visiting the fountain of youth in the form of a knee procedure in Germany that allowed him to average nearly 39 minutes per game last season, Bryant senses that the end is near — and not only for his knees, wrist, ankles or other body parts, but also for his incomparably competitive mind. The window, he is ready to acknowledge, is two years. Two more chances to catch [Michael] Jordan. ‘It’s not about health necessarily,’ he said. ‘It’s about ‘Do I want to do it? Do I have that hunger to continue to prepare at a high level?’ Bill Parcells, a competitive sociopath from another sport, used to say that if you’re talking about retirement, it means you’ve basically already retired. To hear Bryant, the most cutthroat basketball combatant of his generation, speak about the day — the moment — when his smoldering desire to win finally will be extinguished, was something to behold. So much so that the next question — about whether Bryant would ever change his mind and hang on for an extra year or two as a role player averaging 15 points just to pad his championship resume — needn’t have been asked. ‘That’s not gonna happen,’ Bryant said. ‘That’s just not me.’”

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  • Perry the PlatyPteranodon

    Not a huge fan of Bean, but damn that’s gonna shake me up. Duncan, Shaq, Iverson, Bean, Kobe, Garnett, T-Mac and all the older heroes are gonna be gone from the L. But it’s always nice to see the next generation surpass the last.

  • Bravo

    Damn without Kobe in the nba I’m gonna end up cheering for OKC and kd

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    I’m getting old. All of the players I admired growing up are headed out of the league. Enjoy these last few guys while they’re still playing.

  • Fat Lever

    It’s crazy, when you factor in how many playoff games he’s played in, I think it’s an additional 3 seasons. His preparedness and off season training routine have a direct relation to his longevity. I always said that if AI had half the commitment level to his body that Bean had, we wouldn’t need to see constant posts about how it’s such an injustice AI still isn’t in the league.

  • the Jewel

    his career has blazed past us like a comet..though it’s been almost 2 decades, it still seems like yesterday when Frobe was tossing an alley to Shaq to bring down the Blazers. Kobe retiring? damn, time is passing. the 2000s are turning to the 90s. can he get 6?

  • mick

    he will never catch mj even if he gets 8 rings let alone 5

  • RedDragon10

    Definition of a bandwagon fan.

  • danpowers

    is rlly a strange feeling

  • danpowers

    i wonder if he returns from retirement after two more years to play for the wizards…

  • Drig

    Man, the NBA as I know it is gonna end in another 2 years………KB, KG, TD, Ray Ray, PP, JKidd, Nash, Nowitzki and finally, Manu………crazy……..

  • pposse

    he will, i promise you this danpowers.

  • danpowers

    sure im just not so sure when i look at the next generation except the point guard position. when i make a list of the younger top 5 players of every position i highly doubt that they come close to the talent level that is about to leave the league

  • Drig

    I think the Center position is gonna be a wash ( I refuse to add TD to the list and the only great Cs of their time were Shaq and JONeal, Yao for a stretch of 3-4 seasons ). But PF, SG positions are gonna see a huge dropoff soon :( .

  • LakeShow

    Say it ain’t so…
    I choose not to think about this.

  • danpowers

    also sf, there r some nice players but it will get thin behind durant and james soon as there r not really superstar players.

  • KC

    Why is the goal to catch michael in championships? It’s not like Jordan has won the most rings. Try targeting bill Russel! Winning a 6th ring doesn’t really change Kobe’s Legacy in my opinion. He already is what he is going to be. Winning number 6 doesn’t make him as good as Jordan. He just isn’t mike! With that said he is an all time great and a hall of Famer. I would say a top 10 player in NBA History.

  • KC

    Tim Duncan is and has always been a center! Greg Popvich has said this himself numerous times. PF and center are pretty much the same position. Small fwd and shooting guard are pretty much the same position. The game has changed since the early days where players filled a certain role and lines have been blurred as to specific positions.

  • charliewinning

    I had an argument on here about the difference between Kobe/MJ and guys like AI, DRose,and Westbrook. While I’m not one of those who put Kobe and MJ in the same breath, I can at least admit that Kobe’s care for his body is the biggest factor in his longevity. He even went so far as to adjust his game for his age, which AI–my favorite player–didn’t do. I see Rose and Westbrook having careers shorter than they can be because they rely so heavily on their athleticism, thrashing their body on wild drives into the paint. I hope they work on skills and rely less on athleticism like Kobe learned to do.

  • bike

    I wonder what someone like Kobe will do in retirement. Coach maybe?

  • Dnton

    I love how a knicks fan doesn’t count carmelo as a superstar =P

  • danpowers

    he still has to prove that. he could bring it this year as he is in the best shape of his life but i wont believe it before i didnt actually see it

  • Bravo

    Thanks much love. Go chance your Dragon balls

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    it’ll be a crzy day on ESPN when he does

  • zogs19994

    relax dawg

  • Red Star

    I’m with LakeShow on this!

  • brandan evans

    damn, this will hurt me when he retires cause then i will watch the nba but will no longer have a fav. player in the game.
    no other player in the league does what kobe does. every night he comes to play hard and wants to win, he do none of that off the court fooliness that has nothin to do wit basketball.
    he the closest thing to MJ.

  • Madubbs

    LMAO you said Bean and kobe, bean and kobe is the same guy lool

  • s2k

    oh herro preaze

  • Perry the PlatyPteranodon

    LMAO my bad for not noticing that, but I don’t usually reread my posts.

  • LakeShow

    Because goals should be achievable.

  • The Seed

    When Kobe leaves, its going to be a sad day for real Laker fans. Kobe on his jersey night will have number 8 and 24 retired and his statue better be put up in 2-5 years. Kobe plays with a passion and love for the game like no other. Kobe will sign an extension for two more years after this contract if Lakers get two straight rings.

  • Slick Ric

    Time fly’s

  • RedDragon10

    Nice comeback.

  • RedDragon10

    I don’t understand.

  • Omnixyience

    He has 5 rings already..Idiot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509819249 Gaurav P.

    I think his statue will be up much quicker than that…like really quickly. He gave the franchise everything he had/

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509819249 Gaurav P.

    Now I understand why people stopped watching the NBA when Jordan left.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jay.brodes Jay Brodes

    i want at least 1 more championship and the mamba can make BB# or MIB4…either way lets get another chip and can nike please releae pics of the kbviii already..xmas better be hottt!!

  • uqk

    agree..TD21 is PF only when DRob still Playing

  • http://www.facebook.com/justcdro Ysidro Galaviz Jr.

    K.O.B.E.

  • mike

    Not a Laker fan, but I am a fan of Mr. Bryant simply because he is a class act and the game will be diminished should he retire. Whatever he decides to do retirement-wise or does post-basketball, one wishes him nothing but success and happiness. He has earned it.

  • Conor

    The two reasons for Bryant’s performances during the past two seasons are simply fatigue and injury. He says that his body is in the best condition it’s been in since 2006. We all know what happened then. Expect scary things from LaLa this season. For example…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vyj-cu07oag

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