Kobe Bryant Contradicts GM, ‘Nadanew’ on Retirement


When your boss discusses your retirement party before you decide to quit, it may be time to look elsewhere for employment.

Kobe Bryant announced he has nothing to announce about his retirement on Friday afternoon. The non-announcement announcement followed Los Angeles Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak telling a satellite radio show that Kobe had confided to him that the 2015-2016 season would be his last.

“This is it,” the GM alleges that the five-time NBA champion told him. But Kobe took to Twitter to say that this isn’t it. Not necessarily. Probably. Maybe.

Kobe has played just 41 games the last two seasons. The Lakers played as one of the worst teams in the NBA over that period. As age, free agency, and injuries have depleted the team’s talent pool, Kupchack, especially now that he owns the second pick in the NBA Draft, may look to build a younger team. A high-salary, oft-injured player entering his 20th season may not mesh with those plans.

And patience for Bryant, turning 37 this summer, may be in short supply at this stage in his career. Kupchak’s message, should Kobe wish to play beyond next season, may translate into “Find another place to play” or, alternatively, “We still love you, Kobe, but we no longer $25 million love you.”

Under contract for this coming season, Kobe Bryant may play to stay in L.A.