Kobe Bryant isn't letting an Achilles injury at the age of 34 slow down his competitive drive. Sources indicate that Bryant wants "two more cracks" at an NBA title, according to a report from ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. The Black Mamba isn't ready for retirement quite yet.
Bryant tore his Achilles on April 12 and immediately underwent surgery. He has already shed his walking boot and crutches, and is walking under his own power. He has maintained that he'll be prepared to start the season for the Los Angeles Lakers and there have been no indications from L.A. that his goal is out of reach.
The Lakers, however, face an uncertain future. Dwight Howard becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and has made it clear he intends to explore his options. If Bryant wants at least two more "cracks" at a title, keeping Howard in Los Angeles is a necessity for the Lakers immediate success.
The other issue for Bryant and the Lakers are the finances involved. His $30 million contract expires at the end of the 2013-2014 season and the sides have yet to discuss an extension, though both parties would prefer for Bryant to retire as a Laker, according to Shelburne's report.
If Bryant wants at least two more shots at capturing an NBA title the Lakers front office will have to work with Bryant to find a way to maintain their future financial flexibility while bringing him back as he strives for two more championships.