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Now Kobe says he might want to play until age 40

Nov 5, 2012, 1:34 PM EDT

Kobe Bryant AP

When Kobe Bryant had to go through the grind of workouts and treatments to get ready for another season, he talked seriously about wanting to just walk away from all of it in two years.

Now that he’s a couple games into a season — the fun part of the job, playing games and competing — he is singing a different tune.

Kobe was interviewed by CNN Turkey reporter Barbaros Tapan after a recent game and had this to say (via trendBasket.net, hat tip to Hoopshype.com).

“My aim is to play until I’m 40 years old and I believe I can do that. This year, we added very good players to our squad. Steve Nash, Dwight Howard will make us stronger. Right now, things are not going very well but I believe it’ll get better soon.”

“During the lock-out, I had offers from Turkey and other countries. Beşiktaş was interested in me and they had talks with my agent, but I want to use the lock-out time to recover from my injuries and spend more time with my family so I turned the offers down. Who knows, maybe one day I play basketball in Turkey.”

Make no mistake, if Kobe wants to stay the Lakers will keep him and pay the price — he may make $30 million next season but he is worth more than that to the Lakers (literally, the revenue he generates far exceeds his contract). They would blow up those long-shot Lebron plans to keep him. (The only question is will he take a Tim Duncan/Kevin Garnett style paycut so the Lakers can compete?)

Just recently Kobe was talking about walking away at age 36, now he wants to go four years beyond that?

The reality is Kobe doesn’t know. Some days he feels the weight of his body saying “you know, you might want slow down a little.” Then he looks and sees how well he is playing this season with more talent around him — 26.8 points a game on a ridiculous 59.7 percent shooting — and he feels like he can do this forever. Or at least four more years.

I never really bought that Kobe would walk away in two years, not if he was playing well and relatively healthy, but I’m not sure he does four years either. At some point the nagging of his body will drown out the other voices and he will walk away, and my guess is that’s a year or two past the current two years on his deal.

As for playing overseas… Kobe is not going to play in Turkey or any other European market. Sorry, but I cannot see it. But if you’re a smart businessman you never close that door. Keeping hope alive is good for the Kobe brand.

  1. retief1954 - Nov 5, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    What an ego on this guy. He’s SO GREAT that when he’s 40 he’s going to successfully compete against the greatest 24-yr-old ballers in the world in the NBA? Sure you will, pal. Get over yourself, already.

  2. savvybynature - Nov 5, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    German stem cell injections are a helluva drug.

  3. maddogg911 - Nov 5, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    Kobe is the best player of this generation!!! Top 5 all time!!!!

  4. lakerluver - Nov 5, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    @maddogg911
    You’re a brilliant person. Please, come back and post again. For goodness sakes this site could use more knowledgable fans such as yourself!!

  5. paulhargis53 - Nov 6, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    Look everyone, lakerslurper has yet ANOTHER screen name.
    Looks like he retired bozosforall and now has maddog911.

    You’re one pathetic person.

  6. omniusprime - Nov 6, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Kurt Helin you’ve gone brain dead on a second article today. As much as I enjoy watching Kobe play he is not worth $30 million per year at his advanced age or any age for that matter. Pro athletes are grossly overpaid and overhyped by pundit morons like you. If Kobe has any decency and sense of fair play he’ll ask to reduce his overblown salary to get a better bench so they can win games while he rests on the bench, or rocking chair. Go Kobe!!! Go Lakers!!!

    • bougin89 - Nov 6, 2012 at 9:43 AM

      Kurt was pointing out that Kobe is literally worth more than $30 million to the Lakers, as in the Lakers make more than $30 million a year from Kobe(jersey sales, ticket sales, endorsements, etc.). Re-read the article, Kurt is pointing out that they make a profit on Kobe even if they pay him $30 million.

  7. spthegr8 - Nov 6, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    @Progress2011
    Scottie pippen, Horace Grant, Dennis roman, Toni kukoc, Ron Harper ( who was old and a shell of himself, but still a good player). Steve Kerr( could only shoot, but one of the best shooters ever). My point is simple. Jordan played with GREAT players also!!!!

    For you to say that Kobe is “riding people’s coat-tail’s” Just proves what I said about you last week too be true. You are nothing more then a average @ BEST GARDEN VARITEY TROLL!!!!!!! GO AWAY HATER!!!! GO AWAY

  8. 00maltliquor - Nov 6, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Whether he retires after his contract runs out or when he’s 40, it’ll be a sad, sad day for me AND the NBA…whether you love him or hate him.

    I don’t think there will ever be another player quite like Kobe. Then again, didn’t think I’d see another player quite like MJ. And you can get all piss-face about that but it’s true and the comparison is very accurate.

    Kobe has brought me sooooo much joy in my life as a Laker/NBA fan, every year I’m always saying how lucky I am to have been there through the entirety of this baller’s career, and the fact I get to see him for 82 games plus playoffs for going on 17 years has been gift from God. His skill is truly amazing. I hope he sticks around ’till 40, I literally think I might ball my eyes out when he’s finally gone. His talent is that great.

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