Bryant has been off the court more than he has been on this season thanks to injuries.
It is a day that many basketball fans knew was coming, but few wanted to believe it. Kobe Bryant, a staple in basketball for almost two decades, has finally started thinking about retirement. As he sat on the sidelines at Madison Square Garden with two wrapped knees and a surgically repaired shoulder, Bryant was almost in constant pain. He had his family in tow, a sign that this might be something quite special.
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There are times that Bryant admits that he asks himself, "Do I really want to do this anymore?"
But in the next moment, the 37-year-old says he would like to continue playing. "If you asked me today, this would be my last year. But you never know," said Bryant to ESPN. The player is in the final year of his deal with the Lakers, a team he has been with for his entire career. "We'll keep it open. Whatever happens, happens."
Bryant has been quite noncommittal about his future beyond this season anyway. He will make his decision based on how he feels - but he did confirm on thing: he will never play for another professional NBA team:
"I'm a Laker for life. I'm not playing anywhere else, no matter what," he said. "It's just not going to happen."
Bryant also wanted to make sure that his daughters would be okay with the fact that their father was no longer an athlete and that he would be around more: “Of course, they want me around all the time, and I want to be around them all the time," Bryant said. "It's like, if you want to, cool, and if not, [that's] cool, too."
He would be able to be with them more often - because he his recovery between games now takes up as much time as practicing and playing. However, he doesn't seem to be bothered by it, admitting that if he "could figure it out," he would keep playing.
Another thing he admitted is that he would never coach, like some of his former teammates have gone on to do.
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"I don't feel like dealing with divas," Bryant said with a grin. "They're a pain in the ass."