Each day we’re reminded of the Kobe Bryant’s basketball mortality. In the weeks leading up to the Olympic Games in London Bryant began discussing the conclusion of his career which could coincide with the last two years of his Laker deal.
Being that Bryant is a global icon of the game and has European roots it only makes sense that Kobe would consider playing overseas at some point. He flirted with the idea last offseason during the lockout. Now comes would that Kobe is mulling over a possible farewell tour in Europe once his playing days are done in the NBA.
Adrian Wojnarowski caught up with Kobe between games in London to pick his brain on a possible European farewell tour. Bryant seems very open to the idea of finishing his career in Europe.
“It would be natural for me to go do it. It wouldn’t be a stretch at all. I grew up here.”
Bryant was born in Italy, speaks the language and knows Spanish too. However these days Kobe sees Turkey as the better league to play in when it comes to European hoops.
“I understand there’s a high level of competitive basketball in Turkey now. They might have the best league in Europe. Spain has obviously been one of the top leagues for a long time. And Italy is a place that’s dear in my heart, I grew up there, but the level is not where it used to be. When I was growing up over there, that was the best league in Europe.”
All this talk of the end might seem a little premature. Kobe more than proved this past season that he’s got plenty left in the tank. No doubt Bryant has got to be planning for his future beyond the game. However just because he’s walking away from the court doesn’t mean he’s abandoning the game all together. Woj also got Kobe to open up about the possibility of owing a franchise. As you would expect Kobe take to that idea like he does playing the game itself.
“I’d have to make that a decision to make it a full-time thing. If this is something that I decided I wanted to pursue, I’m not going to buy it and just let somebody else run it. If I’m going to make the investment, I’m going to run it. I’m going to know the ins-and-outs of the business and how to run it the right way.”