Kobe Bryant told assembled media Tuesday night that he contemplated retirement after being given the news that he had a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
"Yeah, as soon as the doctor told me, I was like, Jesus Christ, man, I dont know if I can do another 9 months." Bryant told reporters during a pregame press conference at Staples Center before the Lakers played against the Detroit Pistons.
The injured Lakers shooting guard also definitively stated that he would not retire, and would play out the last year of his contract. Bryant did allow for the possibility of continuing to play past next year (per Mark Medina):
Kobe says he "could" play past last year. But as of now, he thinks next season is his last year— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) March 11, 2015
While some speculated that Bryant was only at the Lakers' recent game against the Dallas Mavericks to recruit impending free agent point guard Rajon Rondo, he gave a different reason for his recent attendance of the team's games:
Kobe joked he's going to be at home games to be a "source of comfort" for Byron so he has a shoulder to cry on.— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) March 11, 2015
When Bryant is not sopping up Byron Scott's tears with his shoulder, hopefully he can continue to mentor Jordan Clarkson from the sidelines.