It’s no secret that Kobe Bryant’s 2015-16 season is off to a rough start. In five games this season, the 20 year veteran is averaging 16/2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game while shooting an abysmal 32.1% from the field and 21.1% from three. His team’s record isn’t faring much better at 1-4.
With that in mind, it may not be surprising to learn that Kobe is thinking more and more of when he’ll retire from the NBA and find another hobby to take up with pathological zeal. After a Lakers Saturday practice, Kobe had this to say about his future according to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes.
“If you asked me today, this would be my last year. But you never know,” said Bryant, who is in the final year of his deal with the Lakers. “We’ll keep it open. Whatever happens, happens.”
While its understandable that Kobe doesn’t want to make an official announcement yet, the writing is more or less on the wall. Outside of this wishy-washy statement, it has been fairly easy to piece together that this is very likely Kobe’s last season in the NBA. Back in September, Kobe shut down speculation about the possibility of him playing for another team after his contract with Los Angeles expires after this season:
Meanwhile, after Phil Jackson told reporters Friday that he believes this won’t be Bryant’s last year, but that it could be his final season with the Lakers, Bryant shut down that talk in short order with three little words, “I’m a Laker.”
And back in May, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak stated that he’s also pretty sure that there would be no new deal for Kobe after this season:
“I think first and foremost, he’s on the last year of a deal,” Kupchak told SiriusXM NBA Radio. “There have been no discussions about anything going forward. I don’t think there will be.”
With that, we now return to the regularly scheduled Kobe Bryant Probable, Likely, Presumable Retirement Tour.