Once the 2015-16 NBA season comes to a close, Kobe Bryant will have a very difficult decision to make. Kobe’s contract with the Los Angeles Lakers will have expired, unless another extension is agreed to prior to the end of the season, and he’ll have to decide if he wants to continue playing or call it a career.
The consensus right now is that Kobe will announce his retirement. The superstar will be 38 with 20 NBA seasons of wear and tear on his body. Although all signs point to Kobe walking way from the game, the five-time NBA champion hasn’t ruled out the possibility of extending his career a little longer.
If Kobe ultimately retires, one NBA GM believes he’ll have a tough time adjusting to life without basketball. Following quote from an unnamed general manager in the league was mentioned in Chris Ballard’s Sports Illustrated piece on Kobe:
“You know how it’s been hard for Jordan in retirement?” says one GM. “It’s going to be way worse to be Kobe. At least MJ likes to golf and play cards.”
No matter what other hobbies professional athletes of Kobe’s caliber have off the court, field or diamond, retirement is never easy. Kobe will have played 20 years on the professional level living and breathing basketball for more than half of his life.
That’s going to be extremely difficult for Kobe to walk away from, but he is preparing for life after basketball in the same fashion as Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. Bryant continues to prove that he’s a savvy business man and has a potentially bright future with Kobe Inc. and other business ventures.
Much like Magic and Jordan, Kobe may ultimately feel the itch to own a professional sports franchise in the future. Although Jordan has struggled during his time owning the Charlotte Hornets, it appears the NBA legend is starting things around while Magic has had nothing but success with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
With two years left on his deal with the Lakers, it may be too early to speculate what the future Hall of Famer will do once his playing days are behind him. Regardless of his intentions after basketball, leaving the game behind will likely be the difficult thing Kobe has ever had to do.
Kobe Bryant Trash-Talking With LeBron James, Old Text Message Revealed