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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. magicbucs - Nov 5, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Kurt will you do us all a favor and retire at 40 too? If you’re over 40 already what are you waiting for….

    • zhangocracy - Nov 5, 2012 at 5:42 PM

      How does an illiterate get paid to write? Pretty pathetic when Kurt Helin’s readers are his editors.

      • paleihe - Nov 5, 2012 at 5:46 PM

        If you two don’t like his articles, why not just boycott the site? Quit your bitching, and go somewhere else for NBA related articles.

        It’s not a difficult concept to grasp.

  2. skids003 - Nov 5, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Where he stands on the alltime points list will determine when him and his big ego retire.

  3. camnellum12 - Nov 5, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    I’m no grammar police, but I had to re-read the sentence after Kobe’s quote, you forgot to put commas multiple times and missed some letters here and there. Kurt, I think you mess with the readers to get a rise outta us or something, it always makes me laugh when other readers gripe about your articles.

  4. thomaskouns - Nov 5, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Amazing how much of the media hinges on Kobe’s every word like it was sent down from God. If you follow the Lakers closely, you know Kobe is one of the least honest forthright NBA players and nearly everything he says has an agenda or is serving some other prupose. He learned well from Jedi Master Phil.

    When I heard his first retirement proclamation I thought it was a negotiating ploy and I still do when he contract expires.

  5. cosanostra71 - Nov 5, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Would love to see one of the all-time greats continue to wear purple and gold for a few more years!

  6. lakerluver - Nov 5, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    He’s still the best player in the world. Yeah, I said it!!

    • badintent - Nov 6, 2012 at 1:16 AM

      All the bloggers here could shoot .525 behind picks from Gasol and Howard . Don’t be too sure he doesn’t end up in Washington like MJ did. You go to who pays you.

  7. thelakeshow562 - Nov 5, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    no doubt KOBE would stay till he’s cool with where he’s at on the all time scoring list #1 do your thing Kobe just hope its in a LAKERS jersey ……LAKERS #1 win or lose .

  8. 1heatedtoombrayduh - Nov 5, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    May take a couple more trips to Germany LOL, but seriously as a basketball fan 1st, unbiased heat fan 2nd and a d wade fan 3rd- I like kobe and what he gives to the NBA, he is still slightly better than wade (may not be more explosive) but still better and by the time he retires, wade will no longer be the second best because i believe he is in his 30s this year as well. Kobe just makes the NBA more exciting and I’d hate to see him go..still love my heat tho!!

  9. UCFpirate - Nov 5, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    lakerluver has officially become kobeluver. He also believes A-Rod is still the best baseball player in the world.

    • 00maltliquor - Nov 6, 2012 at 1:16 PM

      You see that paul ^

      Why is he giving your April 2013 screen name KOBEluver away? lol

  10. shockexchange - Nov 5, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    After D12 refuses to re-sign with L.A., Horry Jr will retire.

  11. daknight93 - Nov 5, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    another flip flopper, when things are bad..he says 2yrs, when he gets a win and things are good..now he wants to play til 40..Kobe has too many miles on his body to play til 40…he is a dinosaur now at 34 he’s been in the league since 1996…let it go Kobe in 2yrs and start another career.

  12. lakerluver - Nov 5, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    @UFC
    If he’s not the best, he’s a close 2nd best. LeBron is more physically gifted and Durant is just younger and taller. Neither one of them has a game that’s as fundamentally sound as Kobe’s game is. And what he’s doing this late in his career is almost unprecedented. If you add the playoffs he’s played almost another 3 full seasons. Tell me another 2 guard that was this good this late in his career. At this stage of his career not even MJ was as effective. Yeah, I’m a Kobe fan but I’m more so a fan of greatness. I’m also a LeBron fan because he’s one of the greatest players I’ve ever seen.

    • scalfor3 - Nov 5, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      Durant isn’t just younger and taller. He’s better. Whether his career winds up equaling Kobe’s great body of work remains to be seen, but Durant is CLEARLY better than Kobe now.

    • bougin89 - Nov 6, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      “LeBron is more physically gifted and Durant is just younger and taller. Neither one of them has a game that’s as fundamentally sound as Kobe’s game is.”

      You make it so hard not to reply when you post garbage like this. I don’t question Kobe is an all time great but he isn’t the all around player Lebron is(and Lebron is just as effective a scorer). I would argue all day Lebron is a better offensive player than Kobe was. Just look at their career averages:

      Lebron
      27.6 PPG 7.2 RPG 6.9 APG 1.7 SPG .8 BPG .484 FG%

      Kobe
      25.4 PPG 5.3 RPG 4.7 APG 1.5 SPG .5 BPG .453 FG%

      Also, I dare you to find any of Kobe’s single season numbers(as a whole) that match up to Lebron’s. Even Kobe’s prime season’s don’t equal Lebron’s.

  13. lakerluver - Nov 5, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    And, PLEASE, let’s not compare A-Rod or D. Wade to Kobe. There is no comparison.

  14. paulhargis53 - Nov 5, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    Lakerluver finally comes out of the woodwork……right after a laker win….imagine that!!! What a flaming pos you are. Kobe is NOT. the best player right now. James is- its not even close for 2nd best.

    Laker is a 39 year old man that swoons like a 6th grade girl over Kobe. It’s pathetic and sickening and quite sad.Ain’t that right squish mitten?

  15. rocirius - Nov 5, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    LOL!!! Dude was never the best player in the world and never will be. He is a great shooting guard though and will be remembered as one of the best shooting guards ever, as well as being remembered along with Napoleon and Hitler among the most arrogant humans in the history of the world.

  16. rocirius - Nov 5, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    BTW, blocking the IP address of the loser of the bet will not work. It is very easy to change your IP address if you know how.

  17. lakerluver - Nov 5, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    27 pts per gm, 59% fg’s at 34 years old.
    The difference in me and most of you losers is I can give credit to greatness even if that player isn’t a LAKER. There is a reason why Kobe is constantly compared to MJ. Even MJ himself has been quoted as saying the only player who compares to himself is KOBE BEAN BRYANT.
    @ph53, unlike you, I don’t post comments everyday. Sometimes I just get a kick out of reading the stupidity. The LAKERS beat the lowly Pistons. They still have issues that need to be addressed. However, I’ve said from the beginning just wait until May/June. Barring serious injuries the LAKERS will be very formidable by then and I predict will come out of the West. Good day, chumps.

  18. rocirius - Nov 5, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    @lakerluver:
    MJ is a great judge of talent, as evidenced by the drafting of Kwame Brown as the #1 overall pick. ‘Nuff said?

    MJ and Kobe are statistically similar, both won multiple championships, both are great competitors, both had great careers. Those numbers you threw out are impressive for a four game stretch. I tend to look at other factors, such as averages over a season and a career, as well as leadership qualities. Show me evidence that Kobe was the best player in the NBA in a single season with salient points as to why he was the best. I bet I can give a strong rebuttal in favor of at least one player being better, and in most seasons many players being better.

    I’m willing to agree that he is a great individual player and has been an elite player for roughly a decade if that’s good enough for you.

    Chump.

    • thomaskouns - Nov 5, 2012 at 5:07 PM

      Kobe and Michael are no where near similar statistically. MJ was a better passer, rebounding and his carrer shooting percentage was nearly .50 higher than Kobe. And though stats have a hard time measuring defense, Kobe isn’t even close to the defender Jordan was.

      The media and Kobe need to hype Kobe because he has the most marketing power of any player in the NBA but listen to scouts compare the two and its not even a discussion that is how much better MJ was.

  19. paulhargis53 - Nov 5, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    lakerslurper, that is out and out bs! Prior to the 0-3 start, you were bragging about how great this team was. Your last post was guaranteeing a win vs. Portland.

    Now after they beat a horrible Pistons team, you magically re-appear. You wouldn’t be getting called out if you’d show up after losses.

    There isn’t any stupidity for you to read- you’re not posting.

    You’ve developed quite the fan club here, you’ve got a large group of people that think you’re a moron-good job.

    A middle age man gushing about a 34 year old male is quite creepy. It’s nor normal…

    • progress2011 - Nov 5, 2012 at 7:01 PM

      aHAHAHAHAHAH…Paul,

      I like the new name given to lakerFAKER….Lakerslurper…..PRICELESS !!!

  20. lakerluver - Nov 5, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    @rocirius
    Just about everybody acknowledges that best player since MJ retired has been Kobe. Now if you want to say LeBron is the best player since MJ, I would disagree, but you would at least have an argument. But to say anyone else has been better over the last decade is laughable. Only Tim Duncan is even in the discussion. The fact that you said that only shows your inability to be unbiased. No matter what I say, or what most NBA people say, you have already formed your opinion. Kobe could play until he’s 40, average 25 pts and you would still find a way to disparage his accomplishments. As for his stats so far this season. I think they’re a direct result of playing with a big man who comes to play every game. As much as I love Bynum, he just didn’t “bring it” every game. Dwight does. Kobe has confidence in Dwight and knows he doesn’t have to do everything every game. Kobe’s fg attempts are down and his production is up. But, of course, that means little to you. Even when he’s still doing this half way through the season you won’t give him credit. Whatever, dude. I’m tired of trying to educate you.

    • progress2011 - Nov 5, 2012 at 7:04 PM

      How many regular season MVP’s has kobe won !

      Out of the 5 Chips (3 where he was Shaq’s waterboy)…how many of those 5 was he the MVP !

      Then ask yourself, how many does LBJ have.

      Don’t even look at MJ’s, where he was undeniable the MVP of the regular season and EVERY final, he won.

      No need to respond with your GIBBERISH…..these really are not questions…..but FACTS !!!

      • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Nov 6, 2012 at 10:05 PM

        Yeah, how many rings does LBJ got?

        No need to respond with your GIBBERISH…..this really is not a question…..but a point on a FACT !!!

  21. lakerluver - Nov 5, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    And a 50 something year old man stalking a complete stranger isn’t creepy? But we’ve been down this road before. HOPEFULLY, you’ll be a man of your word and go away after you lose our bet.

  22. money2long - Nov 5, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    does anyone realize that if kobe keeps playing until he is 40, and at a relatively kobe-esque pace, he actually has a legitimate chance to become the nba’s all time leading scorer.

  23. paulhargis53 - Nov 5, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    I’m not stalking you loser. You post here I post here. I have an intense dislike for fans like you. If you’re going to continue to post and flaunt your ignorance, I’m going to call you out on it.

    Youre “knowledge” consists of nothing but bias and its sickening.

    To say that nobody compares to Kobe out side of Jordan is ridiculous. Kobe isn’t even the best Laker for Gods sake, of course if it happened before Magic, you wouldn’t have a clue.

    I’m sure your next post should be stunning lakerluver/bozosforall. You know that’s funny too, since I called you out on having 2 screeen names, bozo hasnt posted. How pathetic do you have to be to have 2 names on here? That’s a rhetorical question. How do you live with yourself?

  24. lakerluver - Nov 5, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    @progress2011
    Dude, just go away. Based on your rationale Nash (2 time mvp) is better than Kobe and Shaq (both 1 time mvp’s).Comparing reg season MVP’s to championships is ignorant. Just about as ignorant as arguing Kobe won titles because of Shaq. Basketball is a team sport, meathead. That claim is as old and useless as paulhar……..never mind!

    • progress2011 - Nov 6, 2012 at 9:57 AM

      lakerfaker….

      The number of MVP’s mean that player was the MOST VALUABLE to his team, in comparison.

      Because Nash played on terrible teams, he was considered Most Valuable to his team (because they were a bunch of scrubs).

      Conversely, Shaq and kobe have been most valuable, during the regular season only once because they have played on LOADED teams. Therefore, not as valuable….are you starting to get this !

      Additionally, LBJ has won 3 MVP’s because before moving to South Beach, he played on a team FULL of scrubs.

      Lastly, MJ played with very mediocre players ” That He Individually Made Better”….which is why he has 6 regular season MVP’s.

      Conclusion…because kobe has played on LOADED teams, the majority of his career…his value has not been as great as others, that had to overcome playing with scrubs.
      kobe has been the beneficiary of riding A LOT of coat-tails.

      AHAhahahahaha….

      • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Nov 6, 2012 at 10:24 PM

        Made some good points there.

        Apparently Lakers management is doing a hell of a good job of coming up with loaded teams through the years — hence the consistency as title contenders compared to most. Can’t say the same for many NBA teams.

        When other teams keep on rebuilding, the Lakers just reload. Last time they rebuilt was when Shaq and Kobe came in.

        Have you even considered what the Lakers team would be like, especially those teams that won those 5 O’Briens, if Kobe wasn’t there?

        Of course you didn’t. Your hate and envy for the player and his team have blinded you for you to see that point.

  25. lakerluver - Nov 5, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    How many times must I “attempt” to educate and enlighten you losers?!!

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Nov 6, 2012 at 10:26 PM

      Put a lid on it LL. It’s an exercise in futility. Que sera, sera.

      There’s this saying that it is difficult to wake up someone who is pretending to be asleep.

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