A hot topic of discussion involving the Los Angeles Lakers over the past few months has been the future of superstar Kobe Bryant. The five-time NBA champion will become an unrestricted free agent in July with no clear indication whether he’ll retire or attempt to re-sign with the team.
As of right now, Bryant’s decision seems to be leaning on whether he can stay healthy during his 20th season with the Lakers. After suffering three consecutive season-ending injuries, the prospect of staying healthy doesn’t seem to be promising.
Recently, UFC superstar Ronda Rousey was asked about Bryant and if she believes he could call it a career. Rousey thinks if Kobe is questioning whether to walk away and it may be time to do so via Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting.com:
I think if you’re wondering whether or not you should play, that’s the time that you should kind of think about stepping away,” Rousey said. “Every single time I pull up to the gym, I park and I run from my car into the door of the gym, because I’m so excited to be there. If you’re wondering whether or not you should be there, it’s getting to be about that time.”
A simple explanation is usually the right one and Rousey might be on to something here. Although Bryant is the kind of athlete would try to play even if he couldn’t walk, hence hitting two free throws with a torn Achilles back in 2013, but even with a never-say-die attitude, Kobe is fully aware of his mortality.
Fortunately, with the promising talent on the team this season, Bryant may be able to extend his NBA career. Kobe could lean on the likes of D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson to help lead the team this season and shoulder the load offensively.
The revamped roster has already shown flashes of promise during the preseason with all the players mentioned seemingly building some chemistry early on. There’s no telling whether it will result in immediate success this year, but there’s reasons for optimism for Kobe and the Lakers.