Kobe Bryant to Retire from NBA Basketball in 2011?

"Tryin to get that Kobe No. 1 over Jordan."

This line dropped by Kanye West in hit rap song describes perfectly why Kobe, with or without his sixth NBA championship ring, won't be retiring at the end of the 2011 season.

Currently, there have been several rumors floating around that Bryant very well could follow Phil Jackson into retirement, as long as Kobe wins his sixth Championship. Regardless of whether or not Kobe captures his sixth championship, he will not retire. It's that simple. Let me explain why:

Kobe Bryant is chasing Michael Jordan's legacy. Everyone knows that. It shouldn't even be a question. But it is not just catching Jordan's legacy that Bryant wants.

"I don't want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant."

Kobe said it himself. He wants more. He wants to be better than Jordan. He wants to be remembered as the greatest player of all time. Essentially, he wants to beat Jordan.

Now, I am not here to discuss the opinions of whether or not beating Jordan is possible, but I can tell you that Kobe won't stop until he thinks he has passed Jordan. Again, like Kanye said:

"Tryin to get that Kobe No. 1 over Jordan"

Not buying it yet? Let's brainstorm.

Michael Jordan's jersey number was the famous 23. Kobe Bryant chose the number 24...the number that is one higher than Jordan's. See where I am going? In the Olympics, Jordan had the number 9 as his jersey number. Bryant chose 10. Yet again, the number that is one greater than Jordan's.

I think it's safe to say that in this situation, "mere coincidence" of the numbers is not a valid conclusion. Kobe is doing everything he can to prove that he is better than Jordan. But merely making sure your jersey number is always a number higher than Jordan's won't do the trick. He will have to play better than Jordan. He will have to win more than Jordan. And Kobe knows this. He himself said:
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers