Kobe Bryant Says He’ll Decide on Retirement This Summer

With much speculation made about how long Kobe Bryant is going to stick around with the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant has already figured that he'll decide on his future after this season ends.

Bryant is under contract through the end of next season, and he's talked quite a bit about what his plans are past that season in terms of retirement, but he has yet to talk in terms of absolutes, as the date for his departure has changed from conversation to conversation.

Before the start of the season (and after going through a grueling offseason of training camp and German knee procedures), Bryant seemed rather adamant that the end of his contract would mean the end of his career. He would retire after the 2014 season.

A few games into the season, Bryant was singing a different tune. He talked about wanting to play until he was 40. He did allude to potentially playing in Europe, but playing until he turns 40 would mean playing at least until the 2018-19 season, if he were to remain in the NBA.

That's not exactly two more years.

Once the All-Star Game came around, Kobe did an interview with Damon Jones (because, why not?) and told Jones that he was thinking about playing another two years at the most.

With such a wide range of possibilities regarding the end of his career, it's easy for questions to keep coming his way.

This time when it came around, Kobe was much more straightforward but ended up completely avoiding the question altogether, claiming that this summer will be when he makes the final decision. Via Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com:

I’ll talk to my family and stuff and really see if I want to continue to sacrifice as much as I’m sacrificing right now. I’m putting my body through a lot to just try to get ready to play every single night. To do what I’m doing right now, it’s not easy. I’ll tell you, it’s taken a lot of commitment....

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