Kobe Bryant To Retire After Next Year
The Hollywood Reporter – The L.A. Lakers’ Kobe Bryant has been contemplating life after basketball since he was 22. Now that he’s 36, out due to injury and close to retirement, he says he’ll play one more season and finish his two-year contract, which will net him $25 million. But his recent experience as the subject and executive producer of the intimate doc Kobe Bryant’s Muse — produced by Gotham Chopra (Deepak‘s son) and airing Feb. 28 on Showtime — has opened up the possibility of a career behind the lens. “There are so many other stories to be told,” he says, adding that he’d like to profile Phil Jackson and Apple designer Jonathan Ive.
His career of late, riddled with injuries. His age, a definite factor. His scoring.. down. His time is up. Love him or hate him, basketball needs players like Kobe Bryant. I personally despise him. I’m a Celts fan. Hating the Lakers is in my DNA. But his drive, his competitive spirit, his cutthroat style of basketball.. that.. that I can’t hate. The stories of Kobe calling up his trainers at three in the morning, asking them if they can make it to the practice facility by 3:30 for a shoot around. Tirelessly working on his craft. Calling out guys in practice for not working hard enough – wanting to be the best player ever.
So the rumor is that Kobe’s retiring after next year. Sad, sad news.
Some Hollywood reporter tried to pen some piece on Kobe retiring after next season under the assumption that Kobe will ever retire.. because he probably won’t. Just like Tom Brady’s playing until it’s physically impossible to play, so is Kobe, because that’s the type of athlete Kobe is.
Kobe set the record straight on Grantland with Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose:
In the THR piece, which was mostly an interview with the Los Angeles Lakers legend about his upcoming Showtime documentary “Kobe Bryant’s Muse,” author Marisa Guthrie wrote Bryant would retire after next season, without directly quoting him on the topic.
Bryant also told Simmons and Rose he’s not into the idea of a Derek Jeter-style season farewell tour:
It wouldn’t be true to who I’ve been my entire career to do a farewell tour. First of all, I’d feel weird.
Kobe is the ultimate love to hate you, hate to love you player in my book. On one hand, I love to see Kobe fall to the Celts, I love to see him fail.. but on the other hand, I can’t get enough of him.
“Pshhhh, yeah right, you think I’m like Derek Jeter, you think I’m gonna put on some sort of farewell tour?? Have people honor me every single night for an entire season?? Think again.”
When Kobe retires, it’ll be the shortest, sweetest “and I’m out y’all” you’ll ever hear. No parades. No speculation. No two hour, commercial-less ESPN special (which is how I imagine Bron will end his career). Nope, just a quick thank you to basketball, followed by a “what the fuck do I do with my life now?”
Knowing Kobe though, I don’t think we’ll be talking about retirement until at least 2020.