Kobe Bryant has spent more than half of his life wearing purple and gold, and he doesn’t foresee any different colors in his future.
After L.A.’s win over Brooklyn on Friday, the 20-year Laker put to rest whispers about him potentially playing for a different team after his contract is over this season.
“How many times do I got to say it?” Bryant asked. “I’ve said it so many times. I’m here. I’m a Laker for life. I’m not playing anywhere else, no matter what. It’s just not gonna happen. I bleed purple and gold, and that’s just how it’s gonna be.”
Rumors began floating after New York Knicks president and former Lakers head coach Phil Jackson said in a September press conference that, “I don’t think this is his last year. Might be his last year as a Laker.”
But Bryant — who is first in franchise history in career points, steals, free throws, 3-pointers, games and minutes — dismissed the notion as, “Phil baiting (the media) as he always does.”
At Saturday’s practice in New York, the 37-year-old offered another glimpse into his thoughts on the future. Though he wouldn’t commit one way or the other — and likely won’t until after this season — the NBA’s 12th-oldest active player indicated that retirement could be a few months away.