Kobe Bryant Comments on Decision Not to Play Overseas After NBA Retirement

Kobe Bryant shot down once and for all any chance of a move overseas after the conclusion of the 2015-16 NBA regular season.

"I would have loved to play overseas for a season," Bryant said Monday, per Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. "But it's not going to happen. I wish I could. But my body won't let me."

The Los Angeles Lakers star already announced this year will be his last, writing, "My body knows it's time to say goodbye" in his open letter on the Players' Tribune.

Italian club Viola Reggio Calabria was unmoved by the announcement, offering Bryant a spot on its roster earlier this month, per TMZ Sports:

Dear child of Reggio Calabria, fantastic Kobe, on this most beautiful stretch of land that is full of affection for you we close our eyes and dream.

There will always be a home for you at this great club on the Straits of Messina. Our dream might be too big but maybe it is the same dream you unknowingly had as that 8-year-old boy in the picture.

We want you to come home, to wear our colours, to represent our city, just as your father did before you. There is a black and orange family waiting for you, with the same name on the back: "Bryant"

Bryant's dad, Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, played for Viola, so joining the team would've been a fun way for Kobe to call a time on his basketball career. He also speaks fluent Italian, which made a move to Italy all the more feasible.    

But in his first press conference upon confirming his retirement, Bryant didn't sound like somebody who was having second thoughts about his decision to walk away from the game:

Michael Jordan isn't a lesser legend for having returned to play for the Washington Wizards after his NBA hiatus, but it did ultimately bring a somewhat unsatisfying conclusion to his basketball career.

By his spurning of a move to Europe, the lasting image of Bryant on a bask...

About the Author