HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Kobe Bryant has put the world on notice.
Two more years of him in purple and gold and that could be it. No more of that hook-jaw look after he drains a big shot. No more. After nearly two decade with him as a fixture in the league, as one of the most recognizable stars in all of sports, is Bryant ready to call it a career at the end of his current contract?
That’s exactly what he told Graham Bensinger of the Huffington Post, when he suggested that the 2013-14 season could very well be his last:
“I’ve been playing for 17 years now, so next year will be my 17th and then, when I’m 35, it will be my 18th year in the league. I mean that’s a long time to be playing. It will be the last year in my contract, so I don’t know. I don’t know if I’ll play any longer than that.”
We’ve seen no signs of slow-down in Kobe the past two years. So there’s no real indication that there will be any more signs of slow-down in him between now and the end of the 2013-14 season.
But if he says there is a possibility that he hangs it up after 18 years in the league, no one can be mad at him. We’ll believe it when we see it, though. And that’s mostly because the Lakers have Steve Nash signed up for three years and by the end of the 2013-14 season Andrew Bynum (or Dwight Howard … we’re projecting here folks, it’s all hypothetical) should be in the physical prime of his career.
Can you see the most competitive player of his generation and one of the most competitive NBA champions of all-time walking away from the challenge of chasing one last title before he walks away from the game?