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Kobe Bryant Talks Retirement, Will Leave NBA After 18 Seasons?

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  • Shaq-Kobe
    (Photo: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)
    Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant (24) and Phoenix Suns' Shaquille O'Neal fight for a rebound during their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles in this February 26, 2009 file photo. Shaquille O'Neal, a dominant center who played on four NBA championship teams, announced on June 1, 2011, he was planning to retire after a professional career spanning nearly two decades. Picture taken February 26, 2009.
By Benge Nsenduluka, CP Reporter
July 17, 2012|7:53 am

Kobe Bryant recently spoke out about a comment that he made during his first ever NBA season in which the 34-year-old vowed to be retired and "relaxing with his family overseas" by age 35.

"That's still probably accurate. I don't know if I will play longer than that, I don't have the same motor," Bryant told Yahoo! Sports' Graham Bensinger, adding that there are a number of things that he is now unable to do due to his age.

The Los Angeles Lakers' shooting guard will be 35 years old and would have been in the NBA for 18 seasons by the time that his current contract expires. While Bryant did not confirm that he will in fact retire once his contract is up, he did clearly state that retiring is definitely a "possibility."

The married father of two also opened up about his 2002 sexual assault case in which a 19-year-old Colorado woman accused him of rape.

Bryant admitted that facing criminal charges was difficult and the lawsuit became a life-changing experience because it helped him establish what is important in his life.

"That's real pressure," Bryant said. "That's life pressure. That's not a game-winning shot where if you make it, you win and if you don't you don't. That (facing possible jail time) is real pressure. "

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Bryant was reportedly blindsided after his wife, Vanessa Bryant, abruptly filed for divorce in December 2011 after 10 years of marriage. The divorce is said to be currently on hold while the pair work towards repairing their marriage, and some critics believe that Bryant's marital woes may also have contributed to his potential retirement plans.

Fans of the NBA star flocked to social networking site Twitter to weigh in on Bryant's possible retirement.

"Kobe Bryant can't .. I repeat CAN'T retire after 2 more seasons... He's my favorite player in the world. You gotta play forever," Dax tweeted.

"Kobe Bryant can play until he 40+ like kidd, but I think he'll retire on a high note where he still avg 20+ pts a game," Cobra Wesley ‏tweeted.

"I just saw that Kobe Bryant might retire in the next 2 years. I highly doubt that. Your only 35, your telling me Tim Duncan got more heart?" Camarronsito tweeted.

 

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