Predicting the Next 10 Years of Kobe Bryant’s Role with LA Lakers

If Los Angeles Lakers executive Jeanie Buss has her way, Kobe Bryant will not only retire (eventually) as a member of the Purple and Gold, he'll also stick with the franchise after he hangs up his sneakers.

It's easy to understand that Buss and the Lakers want the iconic Bryant to be a part of the organization forever, but figuring out the specifics of his final few seasons and post-playing career is much tougher.

Buss told Ramona Shelburne of ESPN: "Kobe is part of the Laker family and he always will be. There's not many players who play 18-19 years with the same franchise, and it's important to us that he has a chance to play his entire career with the Lakers."


About that Playing Career...

The first uncertainty surrounding Bryant's next decade is the most immediate: Nobody seems to know how much longer he'll play.

Buss' statement to Shelburne implies that Bryant, who already has 17 seasons under his belt, will suit up for another one or two years. But Bryant told Melissa Rohlin of the Los Angeles Times in July that he was thinking of hanging on for even longer than that:

"I'm ready to go for at least another three...Mentally, I think I'm more locked in, more engaged on the prospects of playing another three or four years."

It's impossible to know how well Bryant's surgically repaired Achilles will respond until he actually has to test it in real game action, but according to Jonathan Hartzell of, the recovery process has taken on a near-mythic tone. Bryant said: 

The surgical procedure was different...and because of that the recovery has been different. The normal timetable for recovery from an Achilles, we’ve shattered that. Three-and-a-half months I can already walk just fine, I’m lifting weights with the Achilles just fine and that’s different. So we don’t know what that timetable is going to ...

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