Mar 31, 2013, 5:00 PM EDT
Kobe Bryant will enter the 2013-14 season in the final year of his current Lakers contract, one that will pay him over $30 million for next season.
Bryant and the Lakers could come to terms on an extension this summer, but before doing so, Bryant would first need to decide that he wishes to continue play beyond next season.
Even 17 years in, Bryant remains one of the game’s best players. As of right now, however, he’s leaning toward making his 18th NBA season his last.
Bryant made it clear in an interview with NBA.com he expects to make a call before reporting to training camp and probably even long before that. One factor in the decision is the chance to end all the endless questions. Another is to give the Lakers clarity moving forward, in general, and particularly in conjunction with any contract talks that may take place.
“We’ll talk,” Bryant said. “I’ll talk to my family and stuff and really see if I want to continue to sacrifice as much as I’m sacrificing right now. I’m putting my body through a lot to just try to get ready to play every single night. To do what I’m doing right now, it’s not easy. I’ll tell you, it’s taken a lot of commitment.”
Is your sense that next season will be your last?
“As I sit here right now, yeah.”
Bryant has hinted many times recently that next season will be his last. The question came up again in light of his passing Wilt Chamberlain on the NBA’s all-time scoring list on Saturday.
If he remains healthy and playing even close to his current level, Bryant will pass Michael Jordan in career scoring sometime midway through next season, with only Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ahead of him on that list. Should Bryant decide the all-time scoring record was something he wanted to pursue, as long as he holds up physically, it’s likely he could play long enough to get it.
Despite being one of the game’s greatest scorers, however, Bryant has always measured himself by championships. Earning a sixth ring before he hangs ‘em up would tie him with Jordan for career titles, which would mean much more to Bryant personally than would any individual accomplishment.
Jul 12, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
LeBron returns to Cleveland a fully realized player.
Jul 12, 2014, 1:11 AM EDT
Two teams near the top of their conference could get a lot better if they land him.
Jul 12, 2014, 12:10 AM EDT
Carter will likely replace Mike Miller, who might be Cleveland-bound to play with LeBron James
Jul 11, 2014, 11:28 PM EDT
Bucks-Cavaliers was by far the main event of the first day of Summer League action in Las Vegas.
Jul 11, 2014, 10:52 PM EDT
Bazemore join’s Atlanta’s crowded wing rotation
Jul 11, 2014, 10:33 PM EDT
If you’re betting on the Cavaliers to win the title next season
Jul 11, 2014, 9:39 PM EDT
“To say that I’m excited and happy would probably qualify as one of the great understatements of the millennium,” Blatt said.
Jul 11, 2014, 8:42 PM EDT
Odom had fully unguaranteed contract
Jul 11, 2014, 8:15 PM EDT
“It is almost enough to make a Clevelander cry.”
Knicks coach Derek Fisher reflects on LeBron’s decision, while still waiting for Carmelo Anthony to make his
Jul 11, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT
Fisher talks LeBron, Carmelo after a successful Summer League debut coaching the Knicks.
Jul 11, 2014, 7:08 PM EDT
He handles it with class. What else did you expect?
Jul 11, 2014, 6:51 PM EDT
Dragic, Bledsoe and Thomas? The Suns will be fun to watch this season.
Jul 11, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT
That’s a lot of money.
Jul 11, 2014, 6:13 PM EDT
Writing was on the wall on the Lakers traded for Jeremy Lin
Jul 11, 2014, 5:55 PM EDT
Miami will try to re-sign Dwyane Wade next. What will Houston do?
Jul 11, 2014, 5:27 PM EDT
Bosh would give up more than $35 million to leave Miami for Houston, but maybe LeBron James’ departure convinces him to do so
Jul 11, 2014, 5:21 PM EDT
Wade is from Chicago, so there may be a desire to return home — the same way it was with LeBron and the Cavaliers.
Jul 11, 2014, 4:47 PM EDT
LeBron needs to win in Cleveland (not this season, but eventually) to secure his legacy.
Jul 11, 2014, 4:46 PM EDT
Rockets need New Orleans to figure out how to get Asik before Chandler Parsons’ clock expires
Jul 11, 2014, 4:25 PM EDT
Both sides had some apologizing to do.
- LeBron returns to Cleveland a more efficient, mature player that can take team further 0
- Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker shine in head-to-head Summer League matchup 13
- Posnanski: LeBron James proves he’s a true Clevelander 48
- Report: Isaiah Thomas headed to Phoenix Suns in a sign-and-trade 38
- Report: Chris Bosh re-signing with Heat over joining Rockets 81
- Report: Heat offer Chris Bosh full max contract to keep him from Rockets 26
- PBT Extra: LeBron James returns to Cleveland to try and cement legacy 18
- Deal set: Lakers trade for Jeremy Lin, which for L.A. is largely about draft pick (as is Gasol for Boozer idea) 36