Kobe Bryant declined an offer from European basketball club FC Barcelona when presented with the opportunity to extend his career last year, reports Mundo Deportivo.
Bryant announced he would retire in November, but when Barcelona heard in July that Bryant was interested in finishing his career with Spaniard Pau Gasol, the club made him an offer.
According to the report, Bryant told club officials that he would “love to finish [his] career playing for Barca with Pau Gasol.” Gasol, who is from Barcelona and played in the club’s youth leagues, was Bryant’s teammate on the Lakers from 2007 to 2014.
Bryant declined Barcelona’s offer because of his concern he would not be able to stay healthy for an entire Euroleague season, according to the report.
Bryant willl play his final game with the Lakers on April 13 at home against the Utah Jazz.
- Erin Flynn