Kobe Bryant dropped a bombshell this week by saying that early retirement has crossed his mind this season. Although Bryant clearly hasn’t been the same player and needs a lot of rest in order to effective on the basketball floor, no one expected him to consider foregoing next season to retire.
On Sunday, head coach Byron Scott said the following about Kobe’s recent comments on possibly retiring earlier than anticipated, via ESPN’s Baxter Holmes:
“I’m sure it’s probably crossed his mind more than once, but we haven’t talked about that one bit,” Scott said after the Lakers’ practice at their facility here Sunday.
“It’s just game by game — that’s how we’re going to approach it and then go from there. I think he’ll probably tackle that issue once this season is all said and done.”
Obviously, Bryant’s thoughts on possibly calling it a career and foregoing the last year of his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers hasn’t been a topic of discussion between the two. Bryant and Scott are as close as any player and coach in the league, but Kobe seems to have kept his retirement thoughts to himself.
With the Lakers seemingly going nowhere this season and potentially being headed for another high draft pick, it comes as no surprise that Bryant would be thinking of calling it a career.
Kobe has already missed seven games this season and will likely miss many more in order to get the rest needed to preserve his body moving forward. The fact that he can’t play more than 32 minutes a game or play every night has to be weighing heavily on a player widely considered to be the toughest in the league.
Lakers Kobe Bryant Discusses Future Possibility Of Being Shutdown