Could the end of a storied NBA career be near for Kobe Bryant? The Los Angeles Lakers star said in a recent interview he's looking at playing two more seasons before calling it a career.
"I've been playing for 17 years now -- next year will be my 17th, and when I'm (age) 35 it will be my 18th (year) in the league," Bryant, who turns 34 in August, said during a video interview with Graham Bensinger of Yahoo! Sports. "That's a long time to be playing. You know, it will be the last year of my contract and I don't know. I don't know if I'll be playing any longer than that."
How strongly does Kobe feel about his two-year retirement window?
"It's just a possibility. It's not something that I've given much thought to, but it's a possibility. It could happen," the Lakers shooting guard told Bensinger.
Bryant, who recently received a backcourt boost with the addition of veteran guard Steve Nash to the Lakers' lineup, said he likely would finalize a decision to leave basketball "at the end of that season." He said he has seen too many players announce retirement plans, then change their minds. He doesn't want to second-guess his decision.
"I don't want to be one of those guys," Bryant said.
How would Bryant like to be remembered when he's done with professional basketball?
"I would love for people to look back on my career and say that I maximized everything that I possibly could, every ounce of talent that I had, that I got the most out of it," he said in the interview with Yahoo Sports! "If people can say that about me, then I'll be very happy."