Though not guaranteed, it would seem that Kobe won’t be worrying about retiring a Laker. Most players, though, aren’t as lucky, and Kobe addressed the difficulties of an athlete staying with one organization for the entirety of their career.
“I mean with the cap pools and things like that – I know they try to make it so that players remain with the same organizations for awhile but I think it’s made it tougher. It really depends on the organization and what direction they want to go, and sometimes the two don’t match up, and all of a sudden you have guys that part ways. I’ve been one of the lucky ones, that’s all I can say really, it’s just that the pieces have always seemed to fit and line up and we’ve always been going in the same direction so I’ve been lucky.”
Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginóbili, and Dwyane Wade are a few of the active NBA players that have also had the luxury of playing for only one franchise. Hall of Famer John Stockton might be the most famous for spending his entire 19-year playing career playing with the Utah Jazz, which makes him the longest to do so. At 18 years and counting with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe may have the opportunity to pass Stockton in that category.