*Kobe Bryant’s contract with the Los Angeles Lakers expires after the 2013-2014 NBA season, but the 17-year veteran is planning to make his retirement decision as early as this summer, Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com reports.
Bryant has mentioned the R-word throughout the season, but has yet to give a firm commitment on how much longer he’s willing to play. Kobe’s comments came on a night where he surpassed Wilt Chamberlain for fourth in all-time on the scoring list, notching 31,434 points in his career.
When asked if he felt next season would be his last, Bryant responded by saying that his current sense is that he will end his career after the 2013-2014 season, and that the decision is solely his as the Lakers can’t say anything to change his mind:
Howard-Cooper of NBA.com: Is your sense that next season will be your last?
Bryant: “As I sit here right now, yeah.”
Howard-Cooper: Is there anything the Lakers can say that would make it more likely you played beyond next season?
Bryant: “No. It’s my decision. It’s really about what I want to do, if I want to train and be psychotic with my training. That’s what it comes down to. It’s really how I’m feeling physically.”