Kobe Bryant Considered Retirement During ‘Achilles Night’

There was almost no lucrative extension. No inspirational comeback. After rupturing his Achilles, there was almost no Kobe Bryant.

Much was said in the Black Mamba's cathartic Facebook post following his injury against the Golden State Warriors on April 12 of last season, but it wasn't a tell-all. Though Kobe questioned if he was done, he never, in so many words, actually spoke of retiring.

Sitting down with Turner Sports' Rachel Nichols for CNN's Unguarded, Kobe revealed that the thought of quitting basketball altogether crept into his mind that night:

Nichols: I just mean did you-- did you ever really think-- cause you wrote like, 'Oh, maybe I should just sit on a porch.' Did you ever really think, 'I'm done. I'm gonna retire now?'

Kobe: Well, yeah, I mean, that night, absolutely. Because it-- it's-- you know, you-- you're tired. You know, I just finished my 17th year in the NBA, 17 years. And my body's hurting. And now I just ruptured my Achilles. And I know the amount of work it's gonna take to try to get back to play. It's like, 'Do I-- do I really want to do this?' You know? So, I mean, the-- the-- the finality becomes more realistic.

Kobe's doubt isn't beyond comprehension. It was clear that he was rattled...for about a second.

A diffident Kobe hasn't graced us with his presence in more than six months. Since that night, we've only bore witness to the fearless Kobe. The caustic Kobe. It's been all business. All rehab.

All defiance.

The fruits of his labor have already started paying dividends. From the two-year, $48.5 million extension he signed with his Los Angeles Lakers, to the footage of a dunk from a recent scrimmage, Kobe is steadily becoming whole again.

Rumors of a Friday return even began to gain traction.

Nichols squashed such a notion for us, but according to ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin, Kobe...

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