Kobe Bryant Reportedly Wants to Play Two More Seasons

by June 14, 2013

It’s pretty clear that Kobe Bryant has no real intention of retiring once his deal with the Los Angeles Lakers expires after the 2013-’14 campaign. Kobe, according to a report, has his eyes set on playing at least two more seasons with the goal being to win his sixth and seventh NBA championships. Per ESPN: “Bryant wants to be ‘back next season with a vengeance,’ the source said. And he wants ‘two more cracks at it to win seven NBA titles at least.’ In other words, it’s highly unlikely next season will be his last. Bryant and Derek Fisher lead all active players with five NBA titles, although the Spurs’ Tim Duncan could tie them if San Antonio beats the Miami Heat in this year’s Finals. Bryant has always publicly maintained that he will play only while he’s able to perform at an elite level. Next season is his final one under contract with the Lakers. A source with knowledge of the Lakers’ thinking said that the team was planning to open extension talks with Bryant as soon as it was allowed to under NBA rules, which ironically came right after he ruptured his Achilles in a game against Golden State on April 12. Both sides would love to see Bryant retire as a Laker, sources said. But the Achilles injury complicated the issue, especially the timing of talks about an extension. It would be difficult for the Lakers to bring Bryant back at his current salary of $30 million a year with the salary-cap restrictions in the new collective bargaining agreement. But the team is determined to treat Bryant well and with the respect befitting his contributions to the franchise during his career, the source said. Bryant is still in the early stages of recovery from his injury, but he is determined to return by the start of next season and be just as good as he was this season, when he averaged 27.3 points on 46.3 percent shooting, 6.0 assists and 5.6 rebounds a game, all higher than his career averages, at the age of 34.”