Earlier this week, Kobe Bryant suggested once again to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com that he's not leaning toward continuing his NBA playing career once his contract expires in the summer of 2014. As expected, Lakers beat reporters followed up on the topic yesterday, with Kobe stressing to the media that none of his decisions are set in stone.
"Oh my God," Kobe said, according to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times. "You guys want to ask me a million questions about what I'm going to do three years from now. I don't even know in two minutes."
As Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com writes, Bryant noted that there's still plenty of basketball to be played between now and 2014. The 34-year-old said he still feels strong physically, but added that the "mentality of preparing year in and year out" was more taxing every offseason, and that he wasn't sure yet how he'd feel about it in '14. After speaking with the media, Kobe also took to Facebook to make a statement on the constant retirement rumors, redirecting focus to the coming season:
"As far as retirement, I'm not sure how many years I have left but know this: IF and When I announce my retirement, I will do so directly to you first. Let's focus on getting this season taken care of. It should be a fun one. I feel strong, light and quick. I can't wait till Oct 31."
Bryant is due to make about $27.85MM this season and about $30.45MM in 2013/14, the final year of his deal.