NBA Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant (pictured), made an appearance Thursday on ABC-TV’s late-night talkfest, “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” When Kimmel asked the shooting guard when he will retire, Bryant responded that it will be “very soon.”
The 34-year-old player, who has been with the Lakers organization since he sported an Afro some 17-years-ago, has a contract with the team that runs through the 2013-14 season. Even though Bryant has managed to garner five of the much-coveted NBA championship rings with his team, he told Kimmel he’d like a sixth one before he throws in the towel like the legendary NBA maestro Michael Jordan, who has 6 rings under his jersey.
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When asked by Kimmel whether he would consider getting that 6th gold ring with another NBA team, Bryant insisted that he is loyal to the Lakers:
“I’m not going anywhere. I couldn’t possibly. I’ve been very fortunate to be with one organization, and I just feel like you should try to do the best that you can to win with the organization you’re with. And if it happens, great. And it if doesn’t, it doesn’t.”
The former league MVP and 15-time NBA All-Star is set to receive $30.45 million during the final year of his Laker’s deal and as far as trades, the 6’6″ Philly native is his own boss. Bryant and fellow league players Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Dirk Nowitzki are the only players in the NBA to hold a full no-trade clause.
Even though sports analysts are predicting that another championship for the team is but a pipe dream because of the team’s aging roster of top players, Bryant is keeping hope alive by sticking to his team:
“I’ve been very blessed to have been with a fantastic organization. I truly have. It’s coming to an end, and I’m happy that it will be in a Lakers uniform.”