So the news broke on Friday that next season will be Kobe Bryant’s last (if it really is, enjoy his extensive highlights above). I’ve been busy writing about other things/enjoying the holiday weekend, but I do want to touch on this topic. Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said on SiriusXM NBA radio that Kobe “indicated to me that this is it.”
Take that for what it is, but it’s essentially Kupchak saying that Bryant will retire after next season (which makes sense since it’s the last year of his enormous contract).
But just because it makes sense, doesn’t mean I was expected this news. I don’t think Kobe wanted this news out there simply because I really don’t see him as the type of guy that wants the Derek Jeter tour. Kobe’s a tough guy. Although it may not be true, he wants fans to be under the impression that he just wakes up one day after 20 years and decides to hang ’em up.
Another problem with the Kobe farewell tour? He’s probably not even going to play in it. I’m not questioning Bryant’s work ethic, because it’s second to none. But his body is done no matter how hard he works at it. Same with Kevin Garnett and all the high school kids that came in with that generation. T-Mac’s already long gone and came in after both Kobe and KG.
Kobe played 35 games last year, and just six the year before. He’s not making it through 82 games next season … not even close. The last we saw of the REAL Kobe came right up until he tore his achilles at the end of the ’12-13 season.
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