In his fantastic, detailed interview with a Kobe Bryant, Yahoo’s Graham Bensinger reminded him that as rookie Kobe said he would be retired and be on a beach overseas somewhere at age 35.
What would 33-year-old Kobe say to that?
“Still probably accurate…” Kobe said. “I’ve been playing for 17 years now, so next year will be my 17th and then, when I’m 35, it will be my 18th year in the league. I mean that’s a long time to be playing. It will be the last year in my contract, so I don’t know. I don’t know if I’ll play any longer than that.”
Kobe goes on to say he will decide what to do when his current contract is up after two more seasons.
Baring a major injury, I just don’t see Kobe walking away then. He’s too competitive, still playing at too high a level, still having too much fun. He loves the process, the preparation. He’s not 23-year-old Kobe, but he’s still one of the game’s best and most compelling players.
He says he doesn’t want to be one of those guys who retires but can’t stay away and quickly un-retires. Nobody plans on being the next Brett Favre. But Kobe is realistic. He knows he’s a competitor and walking away is just not as easy as it sounds.
But it’s out there. He’s going to think about it.