Kobe Bryant says he’ll wait until after next season to decide whether or not to keep playing.
“We haven’t set anything in stone and I’ve talked about it before. But could this be the last [season]? Absolutely. It’s tough to decide. It’s really tough to make those types of decisions. Players I have spoken to say, ‘Kobe you will know,'” he told Yahoo.
“I’m making this very simple. Either I like playing the game and going through this process or I don’t. I try to strip it down to the simplest form. Either I like playing some more or I don’t. But I think that decision needs to be made after the season. It’s hard to make a decision like that before the season.”
Kobe also said his body feels good, and his legs feel especially solid.
Some fans and analysts believe the Lakers would be better off with Kobe, especially if he was to receive another huge payday like his current contract (two years, $48.5 million).
Others think Kobe can adapt now that he has a more complete roster around him, including youngsters Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell, and Julius Randle. Bryant noted that Los Angeles acquired some good free agents in the offseason, and said that the team can make the playoffs.
“They have really set themselves up for a promising future going on years. I think they drafted very well. The free agents that we picked are extremely solid, [Roy] Hibbert, [Brandon] Bass, Lou [Williams]. We have a very good mix of young and veteran leadership. The challenge is going to be blending the two and cutting down the learning curve,” he said.
“How quickly can we get going? How quickly can we bring up Russell, Randle. Clarkson got valuable experience last year in playing that will benefit us tremendously. I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to running with these young guns.”