Kobe Bryant says on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ career will end ‘soon’
Kobe Bryant reaffirmed in an appearance on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Thursday night that he’ll finish his career with the Lakers.
“I’m not going anywhere,” said Bryant. “I’ve been very fortunate to be with one organization and I just feel like you should just try to do the best that you can to try to win with the organization that you’re with and if it happens great. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”
Bryant mentioned that his 17-year career will be coming to a close in the somewhat near future.
“It’s coming to an end and I’m happy that it will be in a Lakers uniform,” said Bryant. “It will be soon.”
The live audience, based in Los Angeles, collectively groaned at the notion of Bryant’s retirement.
“When I came in the league I had an Afro, I couldn’t grow one now if I tried,” responded Bryant.
Kimmel asked the All-Star if this season has been the hardest one in his career.
“Physically yeah, it’s been pretty taxing,” answered Bryant. “Seventeen years in and playing all these minutes.... I have to do a lot to make sure body is recovered and ready to play the next game.”
The Lakers have had a difficult year with injuries, a coaching change and a losing record.
“It’s Los Angeles. What’s a Laker team in L.A. without drama?” joked Bryant.
Recently he guaranteed the Lakers would make the playoffs.
“If anybody in that locker room would have said, ‘I don’t know if we’re going to make it,’ I would have called the Buss family and said cut this guy right now,” said Bryant. “Get him out of here.”
He also talked about the Lakers’ comeback over the New Orleans Hornets despite what seemed like an insurmountable deficit.
“I care about it so much. Last night’s game was really tough but you just try to keep a good spirit, remain competitive and try within striking distance - even though being down 25 points doesn’t feel like striking distance.”
The Lakers play on Friday night at Staples Center against the Toronto Raptors.
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