Kobe Bryant reportedly confirms he will retire after next season
Kobe Bryant reportedly plans to play for one more season in Los Angeles before calling it a career.
Bryant, who is out for the season after undergoing surgery on a torn rotator cuff, will only play one more season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Next season is the last year of his two-year, $48.5 million contract.
The news shouldn’t come as a surprise to Lakers fans, as Bryant has admitted to thinking about retirement even before his season was cut short in January. Bryant’s will was already tested when he ruptured his Achilles’ tendon two seasons ago and injured his knee last year.
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak also indicated in December that Kobe’s career would likely end after his current contract expires.
The Lakers have the second-worst record in the Western Conference at 13-40. Kupchak is hoping the team around Bryant will be vastly improved for Kobe’s 20th and final season.
The biggest question is if Bryant can actually make it through a full season. He’ll be 37 when next season starts, but it would be hard to imagine him finishing his illustrious career without one final playoff run. And another question to ponder is whether he will announce his impending retirement before the season so he can get the Derek Jeter sendoff treatment.