The Black Mamba has responded cryptically to the notion of him retiring.
"My thoughts on next season being my last season are the same as the last time the media asked me last season #nadanew"
The end of the road may be here for the legendary career of Kobe Bryant. The Los Angeles Laker has hinted for sometime that he may be finished playing professional ball but the team's GM furthered the notion.
ESPN.com's Baxter Holmes received the following in a interview:
"He has indicated to me that this is it," Kupchak said Thursday in a radio appearance with SiriusXM NBA Radio. […]
"I think first and foremost, he's on the last year of a deal," Kupchak told SiriusXM NBA Radio. "There have been no discussions about anything going forward. I don't think there will be."
"A year from now, if there's something different to discuss, then it will be discussed then," Kupchak said of Bryant potentially playing beyond next season. "I talk to him from time to time … and he is recovering. He's running. He's getting movement and strength in the shoulder. We expect a full recovery, but yeah, he's much closer to the end than to the beginning."
"I think it is clear," Kupchak said. "He's on the last year of his deal. There have been no discussions [about playing beyond next season]. He hasn't indicated that he wants to continue to play."
At 37, Kobe has missed 123 games in the past two NBA seasons and suffered three season-ending injuries in a row.