Entering his 19th season, and coming off two major injuries, 36-year old Kobe Bryant is starting to feel like his old, healthy self again.
And he’s nowhere near ready to seriously contemplate retirement. This, despite having played in just six games last season.
Bryant, who has $48.5 million coming to him over the next two seasons, has looked good so far in training camp for the Lakers, and remains as motivated as ever. Kobe says he’ll only leave the game like he has done everything else in life: on his own terms.
Per Yahoo! Sports:
“The biggest key for anybody in retirement is you always want to retire by choice,” Bryant said. “Hopefully, I will be fortunate enough to have that option. You don’t want to see another catastrophic injury or something like that. When you walk away, you want to feel like you walked away on your terms.”
“It’s a pretty tough injury,” Bryant said. “I’m not going to lie. There are a lot of things that go through your mind when something like that happens. But I just went on my grind, just kind of chipped away at it day by day. I feel pretty good as a result.”
“I think Kobe can play two to four more years,” said Lakers assistant coach Mark Madsen Madsen, a former teammate of Bryant’s. “I saw him play this summer. He looked great. Kobe looked strong. He had a couple game-winners [in the scrimmages].” […] “Whether I do or not, we’ll have to see that two years from now,” Bryant said. “I don’t know, but I could [play longer]. Physically, I don’t see an end to the tunnel.”