Kobe Bryant turned down chance to extend career overseas

Kobe Bryant

Lakers Kobe Bryant walks off the court for the last time after a game agianst the Suns in Phoenix on March 23.

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Kobe Bryant could have extended his career overseas for a shot at the Euroleague title.

Bryant was offered a contract last summer by the European basketball club FC Barcelona, but politely turned down the offer, according to a report from the Spanish sports newspaper Mundo Deportivo.

Under terms of the offer, Bryant would have played in Euroleague games and received tributes at each game.

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Bryant announced he would retire in November, but when the Barcelona club heard this past summer of his interest in ending his career with former Lakers teammate Pau Gasol, it made him the offer.

According to club officials, Bryant said he “would love to finish [his] playing career for Barca with Pau Gasol.” Gasol and Bryant were teammates from 2007 to 2014 and won NBA titles in 2009 and 2010.

Bryant rejected the offer because of his concern of not living up to the expectations required for the team and league, according to the report.

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The 37-year-old two-time NBA Finals MVP is set to play the final game of his career with the Lakers on April 13 at Staples Center against the Utah Jazz.

Connect with Eduardo Gonzalez on Twitter: @edmgonzalez


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