LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – Will this upcoming NBA season be Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour?
The soon-to-be-37-year-old Lakers guard isn’t saying whether he’ll hang it up after the 2015-16 season, but as he told Yahoo Sports’ Marc Spears, Bryant “absolutely” believes the team’s revamped roster has a chance to make the playoffs.READ MORE: Police Investigating Shooting In South Los Angeles
When asked why he still puts himself through the rigors of training and conditioning, Bryant told Spears, “I’m crazy.”
“It’s weird,” said Bryant. “You go from as a kid loving the game, thinking you will be able to play forever to being where I am now and understanding there is some finality to it.”
After two consecutive seasons cut short due to injuries, Bryant acknowledged he will likely be under a minutes restriction during the season and that he “doesn’t see what the big deal is about” a possible shift to the small forward spot to make for D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson.
With high expectations for the two young guards, a legitimate bench scorer in Lou Williams and a rim protector in Roy Hibbert, Bryant told Spears this Lakers team will have every opportunity to compete for a postseason berth.READ MORE: Strike Averted: IATSE And AMPTP Have 'Basic Contract' Agreement, Per Officials With The Theatrical Stage Employees Union
“Absolutely,” he said. “We have talented players in their respective positions. We have some really young players. How exactly will the pieces of the puzzle fit? We really don’t know. We are going to [training] camp trying to piece this together just like every other team does. We have to figure out what our strengths are, figure out what our weaknesses are.
“And every time we step on the court we are going to try to hide our weaknesses and step up to our strengths.”
And as for the chance that earning a potentially hefty payday in free agency next summer would lure Bryant to stay on?
“Zero. Zero. I’ve never played for the money. It’s never moved me. Money can come and go. I have a perspective about finances. The family is fine. What is more money going to bring other than more money?MORE NEWS: Bill Clinton Expected To Be Released From UCI Medical Center Sunday
“I have my family, I have my health and we’re comfortable financially and that is a massive blessing.”