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#pounditTuesday, May 21, 2024

Mitch Kupchak: Kobe says next season will be his last

Kobe Bryant

GM Mitch Kupchak confirmed on Thursday what has been reported for quite a while: next season will be the last of Kobe Bryant’s career.

“He has indicated to me that this is it,” Kupchak said Thursday in a radio appearance with SiriusXM NBA Radio.

Kobe is scheduled to make $25 million in the final season of his contract with the team. Kupchak said there has been no talk yet about what will happen after that.

“A year from now, if there’s something different to discuss, then it will be discussed then,” Kupchak said.. “I talk to him from time to time … and he is recovering. He’s running. He’s getting movement and strength in the shoulder. We expect a full recovery, but yeah, he’s much closer to the end than to the beginning.”

You can never put it past Kobe to continue playing, but he has barely played the past two seasons due to major injuries, and he’s missed extended time over the past four seasons. That would likely be a major deterrent from him continuing his career beyond next season.

Kupchak also said that Bryant does not give input on the draft because he trusts the Lakers’ front office, but he is always willing to actively recruit potential free agents.

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