Only very few athletes have a gracious ending to their career like Derek Jeter and not many can come out of retirement a few times and still leave on his own terms like Michael Jordan did, leaving the game has got Kobe Bryant thinking.
Coming to an end
At the Los Angeles Lakers media day, many questions were put forward to the Black Mamba, ranging from the Lakers chances this year to who is the more successful partner of the Iggy Azalea-Nick Young power couple (Kobe voted Iggy).
However what was discussed with Kobe coming off a season long injury and entering his 19th season in the NBA is the terms in which the Lakers shooting guard would like to walk away from the sport he has given everything to.
There is not much more to Bryant than basketball, at the age of 36, there is no one who has breathed the sport through the entirety of his life like Kobe and one day retiring will be extremely hard for the fierce competitor.
The man who idolised Michael Jordan saw his 'Airness' retire three times, even returning to the game at 40 years old to show he could still compete at the highest level and luckily his career was never finally derailed by injury, he could go out as he wanted.
Bryant is a seasoned veteran now and has faced the questions about retirement for the past few seasons, with the recent retirement of MLB legend Derek Jeter, Kobe's take on the matter gave the impression that he would like to walk away with the same dignity and grace that the 'captain' did.
Bryant spoke with Marc Spears of Yahoo about leaving the game and he said:
“The biggest key for anybody in retirement is you always want to retire by choice, Hopefully, I will be fortunate enough to have that option. You don’t want to see another catastrophic injury or something like that. When you walk away, you want to feel like you walked away on your terms.”
He also referenced MJ in his thoughts:
“He still left on his terms because he wanted to leave. If he wanted to continue to play the game, he’d continue to play the game even if it’s not at the level that we are all accustomed to. You want to play, you play. You don’t want to play, you walk away. But at least it’s not because of a devastating injury.For me, it’s the same thing. When I leave, it’s because I choose to.”
Check out some of the other answers Kobe gave at LA Lakers media day