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Kobe Bryant ‘afraid’ of life after basketball

Jul 21, 2014, 9:22 AM EDT

Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant

Michael Jordan retired and came back – and then retired and came back.

Walking away from basketball is difficult for any player, but particularly so for someone as competitive as Jordan. Heck, comeback rumors still emerge occasionally about Jordan, and given everything we know about him, you must at least consider them.

So, it’s no wonder a player who modeled so much of himself as it relates to basketball after Jordan – Kobe Bryant – sees the difficulties of retirement.

ESPN:

The unexpected time off last season forced Bryant to think about his post-basketball future.

“I’m afraid, too,” he said Friday at the summer TV critics’ meeting. “You really have to lean on muses and mentors going forward, just as I did as a kid. It’s about having that next wave of things, which is scary as hell, but it’s fun at the same time.”

Fortunately for Kobe, he has two years and $48.5 million left on his contract. If he wants another deal after that, he’ll get one. His star power will allow him to remain in the NBA a long time – if that’s what he wants.

Also fortunately for Kobe, he seems to understand what lies ahead. That gives him a huge leg up in navigating his post-basketball life. I’m really interested to see what he pursues, but first, he has more time with the Lakers ahead.

  1. saint1997 - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    Kobe is such a fascinating person, I really mean that. I mean just from a psychological standpoint he works in a phenomenal way, given his background and his rise through the NBA and his sheer competitive willpower – he’d be high on my list of celebrities id love to have dinner with!

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      he can be found at La Fogata in Newport Beach often, ordering a rotisserie chicken. maybe you could have dinner with him there.

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 21, 2014 at 12:10 PM

        So I have something in common with Kobe: I eat rotisserie chicken all the time, after a 33 year “stint” as a vegan. Everything’s better west of I-5!

      • genericcommenter - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:30 PM

        I would.

    • aldog83 - Jul 21, 2014 at 1:30 PM

      Must be very stressful for KOBE to be surrounded by pallets of money!

      Go suck a lemon KB24.

  2. cantonb0und13 - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    Kobe, you will be making about $280M (total career income) by the time your contract is done. And after you retire you will have at least $280M if not more. Trust me Kobe you’re going to fine. Also, I need to mention LeBron. LeBron already made $270M, and Kobe will make around $280M once his career is over. LeBron get that paper!

    • cantonb0und13 - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:33 AM

      going to BE fine*

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:18 AM

      when his 2 yr $48.5 million has been collected, he will have made $328 million in career earnings on the court alone.

      then add in his endorsement monies and he’s made around a half a Billion dollars.

      here are some of his recent endorsement yearly totals

      2014 $34 million just from endorsements (Forbes magazine was my source)
      2013 $32 million just from endorsements (Forbes magazine)
      2012 $32 million just from endorsements (Forbes magazine)
      2011 $10 million just from endorsements

      So that totals $436 million when his $48.5 million has been collected yet he’ll earn more in endorsements next year too to add to that so that will push it well over $450 million.

      I’m sure he made at least $50 million in endorsements combined in his first 12 to 13 yrs in the league.

      So actually, he’s earned MORE than a half a billion and he’ll keep earning, especially from China long after he retires.

      Why’d he take that $48.5 million contract from the Lakers again?

      • 5xchamp24 - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:37 AM

        For the same reason you would.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 21, 2014 at 12:33 PM

        “Why’d he take that $48.5 million contract from the Lakers again?”

        Probably because it’s $48.5 million?

      • musician0785 - Jul 21, 2014 at 2:26 PM

        Because 48.5 mil in California is only about 23 mil….that’s 2 years and 23 mil in real money…..unlike Duncan who lives in Texas with no state income tax, so their deals end up being very similar…

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 21, 2014 at 2:55 PM

        uh, Kobe said it was ALL about the championships.

        taking $48.5 million made those championships very difficult to obtain this year and next so it is NOT all about the championships to him

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 21, 2014 at 4:03 PM

        eh, the maximum tax rate in CA is only about 12% now… so his tax bill this year for the state of California is just over $3 million. obviously a lot though. our taxes are definitely very high. We have lots of trains to nowhere and non-existent congressional districts to fund

      • musician0785 - Jul 21, 2014 at 4:16 PM

        @asimonetti That combined with Federal income tax which is 39.6% for someone in that bracket is half the reportedly salary

      • musician0785 - Jul 21, 2014 at 4:18 PM

        A Chicago fan with a notoriously cheap owner lecturing us about taking less to win…

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:27 PM

        I’m not really privy to the tax rates of millionaires here in CA. I have yet to make it to that level. But we do have some very high taxes. It gets frustrating when we see what those dollars are spent on too

      • billtetley53 - Jul 21, 2014 at 7:15 PM

        If you think the rich actually pay that much in taxes, youre more foolish than I thought.
        There is absolutely no way he is paying 50%. A good accountant will knock down his taxes considerably. Musician, you know nothing about basketball. Do yourself a favor, dont prove yourself ignorant on another subject.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 21, 2014 at 7:30 PM

        There aren’t a ton of loopholes to hide income earned from the NBA. You certainly can’t argue it is a capital gain.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 21, 2014 at 7:38 PM

        musician

        Kobe wants it BOTH ways.

        He WANTS the money and the RINGS.

        OK, everyone does. But Kobe took so much money the rings became much HARDER to win yet he says it’s ONLY about the rings.

        Dirk and Duncan understand it’s about the rings and their ACTIONS have shown that it’s about the rings.

        Kobe’s actions have shown it’s about the money.

        Don’t blame that on me. I’m not lecturing, simply stating a fact. It IS more difficult for the Lakers to win with his salary. Had they had another $12 to $14 million to strengthen their team, their odds of winning would have risen from like 2% all the way up to like 4%.

      • mackcarrington - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:08 PM

        @sportsfan:
        Why… why… are you constantly counting Kobe’s money?
        I would venture he doesn’t spend as much time thinking about how much he’s made as you seem to.

      • billtetley53 - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:34 PM

        Agent fees, mortgage, dependents, charitable donations, just to name a few. More than likely, these guys are their own corparations and have many other deductions. Their money men will make sure they keep the lions share of the money.

        Ladt year all you lakers fans were on the other side of the fence when Dwight left, saying the state tax difference was negligible. Nice that some of you fans like to ride both sides of the fence. Im sure musician rides side saddle.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:59 PM

        billtetley53 – Jul 21, 2014 at 8:34 PM
        Ladt year all you lakers fans were on the other side of the fence when Dwight left, saying the state tax difference was negligible.
        ————————————————————————————————————————————-

        Anyone who says that doesn’t live in California.

      • musician0785 - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:42 AM

        @bill
        the state income tax rate is 12% the fed rate is 39% you add that up and what do u get smart guy?

      • billtetley53 - Jul 22, 2014 at 6:46 AM

        Musician: Thank you for once again proving your ignorance. Do you not follow the thread of comments, i know it equals 51% ,thats not what hes paying though after his deductions. Its just another way for you and Vanessa Monetti to fefend your hero. If he pays30% of his income in taxes, id be very surprised, its probably less.

      • musician0785 - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:13 AM

        @bill you’re guessing…..you have no clue what his deductions are….just tryna argue for the sake of it

  3. therealhtj - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    The thought of Kobe demanding another contract after this one must be scary as hell to Lakers fans too.

  4. dls612 - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    Lakers fans already prepared for it just look at a clippers game!

    • therealhtj - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:10 AM

      Still the same crowd too cheap to buy Lakers tickets.

  5. toycannoni - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    mark cuban was on the money….amnesty kobe

    can laker fan imagine superman, the king, and melo all playing in lala land??

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:25 AM

      Mark Cuban wanted the Lakers to amnesty Kobe so that he could be first in line to sign him. You think someone as smart as Cuban would say something like that without self-serving reasons?

      • therealhtj - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:48 AM

        What a scary thought! Another team taking a surly, past-his-prime Kobe with a blown out achilles away enabling the Lakers to re-sign Dwight Howard.

        Perish the thought!

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:51 AM

        “enabling the Lakers to re-sign Dwight Howard”

        As a Lakers fan, that would not make me happy.

      • therealhtj - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:59 AM

        But continuing to be stuck in with a Kobe, who at best, will be 85% of the Kobe from 2 seasons ago, lording over the franchise, and who other prime free agents have no desire to play with, is somehow a better alternative?

        Front of the Jersey. The names on the back will always come and go – there’s no use in getting attached.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:21 AM

        too bad the short Buss isn’t as smart as Mark Cuban.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:54 AM

        “But continuing to be stuck in with a Kobe, who at best, will be 85% of the Kobe from 2 seasons ago, lording over the franchise, and who other prime free agents have no desire to play with, is somehow a better alternative?”

        2 years of Kobe at even 50% would be preferable to 5 years of whatever Dwight is at. I have yet to see the part where prime free agents want to play with him. I’d rather restart the franchise in 2 years than be stuck with Dwight for 5. At this point in his career, Dwight is still very good, but I don’t want him as a franchise anchor.

      • toycannoni - Jul 27, 2014 at 9:11 PM

        cuban wouldn’t pay him anything near what kobe wanted….kobe is on his last leg, no one should expect anything out of him….like nash, he’s just playing for the money now

        cuban was spot on in saying the lakers should’ve amnestied him….melo, superman, and the king could be the staples center heroes, instead you’ve got washed up kobe and boozer along with swaggy p, lol

  6. fiyeaglesfiy - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    If Kobe can stay healthy the next two seasons, and gets close to where he was pre-injury, would realistically take him 3 more seasons at that level to catch Kareem (currently 6,687 points away). Particularly with this roster, where he’ll once again be the focal point of the offense. If he gets to 2,000 pts in each of his “final two years,” I can’t imagine he’ll hang them up when he’s so close to being #1.

    • 5xchamp24 - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:42 AM

      Agree wholeheartedly. Iv’e always watch his total numbers and thought he could do it, until he got hurt. I think he still has a shot, and he will definitely go after it if he cant win another ring. So all you Kobe haters look for him to be around for at least another 4 years.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 21, 2014 at 12:35 PM

        Maybe he can pull a reverse Karl Malone and go to another team where he won’t win a championship

      • billtetley53 - Jul 21, 2014 at 1:15 PM

        I hope he sticks around 4 years. It insures the lakers not being contenders for years…

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 21, 2014 at 1:31 PM

        I hope he goes to whatever team Kevin Garnett’s corpse is on so we can see you turn face.

      • billtetley53 - Jul 21, 2014 at 4:19 PM

        KG had a chance to go to L.A. and he chose the Celtics. He wantted nothing to do with Kobes nonsense.. Before pissy eyes says i have no proof, it was on this very site:

        http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/09/01/kevin-garnett-said-he-was-almost-a-laker-in-2007/

        Kobe was being a big baby and fighting with Phil, KG wanted no part of it.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:32 PM

        Too bad he didn’t come. Maybe he would have won 2 championships instead of just 1.

  7. jimeejohnson - Jul 21, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    Give Kobe credit: it is scary when you go from one stage of life to another. Of course, his monetary cushion should make things less scary.

  8. hodag54501 - Jul 21, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    Oh, yea, there’s so much to be afraid of when you made mega-millions playing a child’s game. “Will I be able to have two or three mansions?” might be one of the truly vexing questions you have to face.
    Go ask the night clerk at the convenience store if he would like to swap places with you Kobe. That might be a vexing question to ask.

    • florida727 - Jul 21, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      Couldn’t agree more. These guys have no perspective as to what REAL life is like.

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