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Kobe Bryant Remains Undecided About Retiring After Next Season

USA Today

USA Today

Superstar Kobe Bryant will enter his 20th season with the Los Angeles Lakers in October. It’ll be the last season Bryant is under contract with the team and many believe it will be his last in the NBA altogether.

Bryant has been asked constantly over the last couple of years whether he’d call it a career after the 2015-16 NBA season. Kobe has gone with the noncommittal approach by leaving the door wide open for a return next summer and continued that stance on potentially retiring recently in an interview with Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

“We haven’t set anything in stone and I’ve talked about it before. But could this be the last [season]? Absolutely. It’s tough to decide. It’s really tough to make those types of decisions. Players I have spoken to say, ‘Kobe you will know.’

“I’m making this very simple. Either I like playing the game and going through this process or I don’t. I try to strip it down to the simplest form. Either I like playing some more or I don’t. But I think that decision needs to be made after the season. It’s hard to make a decision like that before the season.”

At this point in time, no one is picking the Lakers to do much of anything during the 2015-16 NBA season. Los Angeles may have put together a promising young squad with some solid veterans, but it seems like a stretch the team will hold their own in a highly competitive Western Conference.

The only real perk for Bryant to extend his career beyond next season would be the addition of another superstar to pass the torch to in Los Angeles. Kevin Durant will become an unrestricted free agent next summer and may chose to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder with the Lakers among teams interested in the former NBA MVP.

If the Lakers are able to sign Durant or somehow become a force to be reckoned with next season, Bryant staying would make sense. Otherwise, it is safe to assume he’ll simply walk away after two decades in the league.

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