Mitch Kupchak sees Los Angeles Lakers all-star Kobe Bryant’s career coming to an end after the 2015-2016 season. Bryant, who’s about two months into this season after returning from two major injuries to his lower extremities, signed a two-year deal in 2013 for $48.5 million that he was heavily scrutinized for. Kupchak, in a recent interview with NBA.com stated:
“All indications are, to me, from him, that this is going to be it.” Kupchak doesn’t expect Bryant to step back on the court and he informs fans that they shouldn’t expect him to either. “If somebody’s thinking of buying a ticket three years from now to see Kobe play, I would not do that. Don’t wait. Do it this year.”
Despite Kupchak’s speculation, Bryant hasn’t indicated either way whether he will be retiring at the end of his contract. In a recent interview with Yahoo! Sports, Kobe talked about the game and his preparation, in which he said:
“I’ve always enjoyed that aspect of it, the process of it, the building of it. But there will come a point when I don’t anymore, and then it will be over for me.”
GM Kupchak seems to believe that, next season will be the last we see of the Black Mamba, but no one really knows, not even Kobe himself.
Currently Bryant is having a great season, leading the league in points per game with 25.2 even though his team is struggling with a 5-16 record. Bryant is coming up on a great milestone, in which he is about to pass hall-of-famer Michael Jordan, for the third spot on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. It will take some time getting used to not seeing #24 in a Lakers jersey whenever that time comes.