Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant has been preparing for his life after basketball for quite some time. From his successful endeavors and partnership with Nike to launching Kobe Inc., and now creating, starring in and producing the original Showtime documentary Kobe Bryant’s MUSE, Bryant is solidifying and growing his empire before hanging up his Lakers uniform for the last time.
But once Bryant hangs up his Lakers uniform, is there any possibility that Bryant would take the route of many former NBA players, and consider playing in another basketball league, less-demanding than the NBA?
No,” Bryant said at the premiere of his documentary. “If I’m not playing in a Laker uniform, I’m not playing.”
A lot of talk has been made of Bryant’s retirement, specifically that this upcoming season will be the last of his NBA career. Though Bryant has been quick to shoot down reports that he will officially be retiring at the end of next season, it’s not necessarily because he’s planning to extend his NBA career, but rather because he’s trying to avoid a farewell tour. He wants people to treat him the same way in his final season, that he’s been treated for the entirety of his career.
Kobe Bryant’s MUSE director Gotham Chopra who has spent countless hours developing this film alongside the five-time NBA champion, could not imagine Bryant allowing his latest injury to end his career.
I don’t think he will ever be a guy who lets the injury sort of be the end,” Chopra told LakersNation.com. “He’ll get back to where he needs to be, and then he’ll decide if he wants to keep on going.”
Three-time Laker champion Rick Fox, who played seven years alongside Bryant, was one of the first to show up at the premiere, and said despite his relationship with Bryant he expected to learn plenty of things about him after watching the documentary. Fox also commended Bryant for his not only his approach to the game, but also his approach to life, which as Fox said can be “overwhelming” for some.
Not many people can connect to being one of the greatest basketball players of all time. I’m glad I’ve gotten to see both sides more, Fox said. “If it’s his last year, I’ll be tuned in the whole time.”
Kobe Bryant’s MUSE airs on Showtime, Saturday February 28th at 9PM ET/PT.
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