Kobe Bryant on Retirement, Cap, Lakers

Kobe Bryant continued to leave the door ajar for playing beyond this coming season in an interview with Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, saying that he thinks it’s a decision that he’ll need to make after this season is through and not before it. It jibes with what he said in March, when he wouldn’t rule out continuing to play but said he probably wouldn’t decide until his contract is up at season’s end.

“[GM Mitch Kupchak and I] haven’t set anything in stone and I’ve talked about it before. But could this be the last [season]? Absolutely,” Bryant said to Spears. “It’s tough to decide. It’s really tough to make those types of decisions. Players I have spoken to say, ‘Kobe, you will know.’”

The ability to tap into the rising cap next summer for a new contract will have “zero” bearing on his decision, Bryant told Spears. The 19-year veteran, who turns 37 this month, will once again make the NBA’s highest salary this season, with $25MM coming his way.

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