Kobe: My aim is to play until I’m 40

Stephen Dunn

In an interview with a CNN Turkey reporter, Kobe Bryant said that his goal was to play until he is 40 years old, giving hope to Laker fans that expected him to retire at the end of his current contract.

I think we all knew that it was going to be very tough for Kobe Bryant, one of the most relentless competitors in the history of sports, to hang 'em up at the completion of his contract like he has said he would, and now we know that he's having second thoughts. In fact, Bryant says he wants to play an additional five seasons after next season (when his contract expires).

Bryant said that in an interview with CNN Turkey that he has a set a new career goal: To play until he is 40. From the interview (translated by TrendBasket):

"My aim is to play until I’m 40 years old and I believe I can do that. This year, we added very good players to our squad. Steve Nash, Dwight Howard will make us stronger. Right now, things are not going very well but I believe it’ll get better soon."

"During the lock-out, I had offers from Turkey and other countries. Beşiktaş was interested in me and they had talks with my agent, but I want to use the lock-out time to recover from my injuries and spend more time with my family so I turned the offers down. Who knows, maybe one day I play basketball in Turkey."

The catch here is that it was a solo interview with CNN Turkey and that he mentions that he may one day play in Turkey. Not to say Kobe is lying, but this could be more about marketing and future career endeavors than Bryant's actual aspirations to play in the NBA until he is 40.

Still, knowing that leaving the game will be the most difficult thing Kobe has ever done, I could envision Bryant keeping his career going past his current deal. Bryant is dealing with a foot injury, but it's obvious that this new Laker cast has given Kobe a role that is less physically taxing, and he is playing the most efficient ball that he has played in over a decade right now. Assuming that Dwight Howard signs an extension this summer, Bryant could thrive as the second option next to Dwight because it would keep him fresh.

Aside from giving him more chances to catch or surpass Michael Jordan's title count, staying in the league until he is 40 would also give Kobe a chance to break the all-time scoring record, which I'm sure is a goal of his.

I'm not sure if I totally buy Bryant's change of heart just yet, but in the event that he follows through with his recent proclamation, think about this: Bryant will have been a Laker from the day he became a legal adult to the day he went over the hill.

(h/t ProBasketballTalk)

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Silver Screen and Roll

You must be a member of Silver Screen and Roll to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Silver Screen and Roll. You should read them.

Join Silver Screen and Roll

You must be a member of Silver Screen and Roll to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Silver Screen and Roll. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker