Kobe Bryant recently told Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott that this season could be his last in the NBA.
“We’ve talked about it a few days ago,” Scott said. “Talked about it again and his feeling was, ‘Coach, this might be my last year. So if possible I would like to try to play every game.’ ... Bottom line is he said this might be his last year.”
Bryant has not officially announced any plans for retirement, though he recently expressed frustration with his level of play this year. He told reporters on Saturday that he was open to playing again next year, but “if you asked [him] today, this would be [his] last year.”
“My message has been consistent all the time,” Bryant said Sunday. “If I change my mind, I’ll come back and play. If I don’t, I won’t,” Bryant said. “I’ve been pretty consistent with that, so I don’t know how much, what else can I say?”
Bryant, 37, is in the final year of his contract with the Lakers and is averaging 16.5 points per game with 3.5 rebounds and a 32.0% field goal percentage through six games.
The Lakers, who are 1–5, play the Miami Heat on Tuesday.
- Erin Flynn