Kobe Bryant will turn 38 this season and is clearly nearing retirement, but no one is assuming this will be his final season, not yet. Phil Jackson added fuel to the fire with recent comments about Bryant's future, even suggesting that he could join another team to finish out his career.
"I don't think this is his last year," Jackson said in a press conference, via the Wall Street Journal's Chris Herring. "Might be his last year as a Laker."
Bryant's contract is up this summer and it's hard to believe the Lakers will be contenders in just one season. Their roster is mostly made up of young talent this season, making Bryant the odd one out as a Hall of Famer in his twilight years. Michael Jordan, Bryant's idol and the player he's been pursuing for years, also joined another team to finish his career, so it's impossible to rule out Kobe doing the same.
However, Jackson isn't his coach anymore and it's hard to believe he knows Bryant's intentions any better than we do. It would be definitely to imagine Bryant in any jersey other than the Lakers gold, and until he gives some indication that he'd considering finishing his career with another team, it's only speculation.
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