Kobe Bryant is keeping the NBA at the top of the sports headlines for at least one more week. While in Brazil, Kobe did an interview where he states he could play for a few more years.
“I could easily see myself playing another three or four years,” Bryant tells the Brazilian television show.
This past season saw Kobe (literally) fall to an Achilles injury. He tore the tendon in the last week of the regular season. Bryant did say in the past that he was thinking of retiring when his current contract ends in the 2013-2014 season.
Bryant is never one to back down from a challenge. Add to the fact that he saw LeBron James carry the Miami Heat to back to back titles. Kobe hears that chatter of James being the best player in the NBA. That chatter is probably correct, but it will motivate Kobe to go back in the gym to rehab and get into top shape.
The rehab process will be a long process for Bryant. The expectations on his return to the court is November or December. Kobe will be turn 35 before the next season, which is old in NBA years. Still Kobe is fully confident that he will be back playing at a high level.
Kobe nor the Lakers has set an exact date for him coming back onto the court. In past injuries with Kobe, we have seen his determination and desire to play ball again. He will make sure that he can compete at the highest level to face the elite teams in the league.
Not only is his return to the game important to Kobe himself, but the Lakers will want to get a few more years out of Kobe. The Lakers are in a transition phase. The Dwight Howard saga continues in Los Angeles. Howard has not made a decision on where he will be playing next season.
Whether or not Dwight stays Bryant can help the team’s transition. Younger stars or rookies might want to play with Kobe and learn from him. The Lakers could sign a few key players that would help bring the team back to the top of the Western Conference.
Kobe looks to finish out his career with the Lakers. This will hopefully leave the team in good hands with a few core players as he puts them under his wing. He can mold them in the last few years of his career setting up the team to be a team that makes the playoffs consistently. That would be just another way Bryant would leave his mark on the franchise as one of the best players in Lakers history.