Is Kobe Bryant Retiring After the 2014 NBA Season?

There’s no doubt that Kobe Bryant is still one of the NBA’s top players, but after 16 seasons in the league, it’s only natural to contemplate calling it quits.

Talking with CBSSports.com after a Lakers practice, Bryant revealed that he will most likely retire from basketball after his current contract is up, which is at the end of the 2013-2014 season.

“It’s just that three more years seems like a really long time to continue to stay at a high, high level of training and preparation and health,” Bryant said. “That’s a lot of years. For a guard? That’s a lot of years.”

The subject of retirement has obviously been on his mind for a while. While reflecting on his career back in July, Bryant told the Huffington Post that he was considering retiring at age 35 after his 18th season. Then and even now, he admits that “one can never be too sure”, but he definitely seems to be sticking with the plan to go two more years. And for Bryant, health isn’t the only issue. The decision will be about the quality of his play and his desire to keep going.

“It’s not about health necessarily,” he said. “It’s about ‘Do I want to do it? Do I have that hunger to continue to prepare at a high level?’ “

Something else to consider are his achievements. With NBA championships, MVP awards and Olympic gold medals on his resume, there is not much left for Bryant to accomplish. He could try to pad his stats and shoot for some scoring records by playing a couple more seasons, but Bryant says that’s not something that interests him.

“That’s not gonna happen. That’s just not me.”

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