Kobe Bryant Plans to Retire with Lakers, Won’t Play for Other Teams

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant isn't ready to announce what his future holds beyond the 2015-16 season. The team legend does know he has no interest in leaving the Lakers to chase a championship with another organization, though.  

Bryant is getting ready for his return to action after missing the latter stages of last season with a shoulder injury. While most of the media focus has been on his inevitable retirement, he's only concerned about the present, per Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com.

"If it is, it is," Bryant said, when asked if this is his last season. "If it isn't, I'll be ready for next season. I don't spend too much time thinking about it. I've got enough to think about."

Bryant stated, "I'm as excited for this season as I've been in a long time," and he admitted he's not sure what the deciding factor will be about whether to continue his career. The ESPN.com report also notes he sees the discussion about his future as a sign of respect rather than a possible distraction:

It could get to become a pain in the ass, but when I sit back and think about it, it's actually cool, because it means that you've had a really good career and people want to know when the time is coming for you to hang 'em up. Like me, don't like me, [but people] respect the career that I've had. I think that's a pretty damn cool thing.

When the topic turned to possibly leaving the Lakers for next season and beyond, Bryant quickly shot down the idea, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports: "A lot of players want to go to different teams or contend to win championships. I'm a Laker, man. I'm a Laker for better or worse."

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson, who coached Bryant in Los Angeles, told Yahoo Sports it sounded like the star's time with the Lakers might be winding down. The guard doesn't share that view.

"I'm a Laker, man. How many times do I have to say that?" Bryant sai...

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