The Los Angeles Lakers improved their chances of winning their first NBA Championship since 2010 this offseason by signing LeBron James in free agency.
In the eyes of some Lakers fans, this might be enough as well to draw a legend out of retirement, Kobe Bryant.
Speaking on PodcastOne Sportsnet’s The BIG Podcast with Shaq, via Clutch Sports, Shaquille O’Neal stated that Bryant could be about to make a return to the court for the first time since retiring at the end of the 2015-16 season.
Shaq said that he knows Kobe is going to be making a comeback because he knows all parties involved and due to how much business it could create.
He said: “Yes, because I know all the parties involved. Let’s talk about the Lakers parties. There’s already excitement with LeBron coming here. I don’t know how ticket sales are – boom, boom, boom.
“But if you make that announcement – ooooh – the Kobe jerseys and LeBron jerseys, side by side – a little package. It’ll explode. Right?”
Immediately, the biggest problem the Lakers would face if they were to bring back Bryant now would be the salary cap. However, Shaq has a way around out, as he believes he would sign for the vet minimum.
“No he would probably get the veteran league minimum. However, he can get money on the side. You know, he just started that VC venture fund. If he did that, and did that, and won. Phewwww.”
Kobe’s wife responds
However, Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s wife, took to Instagram to shut down recent speculation that her husband will return to the NBA.
She said in a comment on a post: “Kobe will not be coming out of retirement to play again. He doesn’t want to play again and frankly we really enjoy spending time together as a family without the crazy game schedule interfering with birthdays, holidays and special events.”
Overall, it seems unlikely that Bryant will be returning to play for the Lakers anytime soon. He seems pretty content with retirement, as he hasn’t really spoken about a possible comeback since he called it a day two years ago.
Still, one can dream of a Kobe and LeBron tandem at the Lakers, or just recreate it on a video game.
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