Kobe Bryant has announced that he will retire after the 2015-16 season – his 20th in the league. A five-time NBA champion, two-time Finals MVP and 17-time All-Star, Bryant is one of the greatest players of all time. But after several injury-plagued seasons, the 37-year-old could see the end is near.
But what’s next for Kobe? Will we soon see him in the Lakers’ front office?
“Well, Kobe has irons in a lot of different fires,” Orange County Register Lakers Beat Writer Bill Oram said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I’m not sure if being involved with a professional basketball team is going to be one of them for a foreseeable future. He might actually be smarter than this. Seeing the direction of the Lakers, I don’t think he would get involved in the day-to-day basketball operations.”
The Lakers haven’t made the playoffs since 2013 and are 2-14 this season – the second-worst record in basketball behind the winless 76ers (0-18).
“He talks about wanting to get involved with more storytelling,” Oram said of Bryant. “He did his documentary last year, ‘Muse,’ that was on one of the premium networks and that was something that was watched kind of the world around to see Kobe’s perspective on his own life. He said he wants to keep telling stories that inspire and educate in creative ways.”
That, of course, would only be one piece of the Kobe pie.
“Other than that, he’s going to continue with the Nike brand, he’s going to continue with his energy drink that he has – I just think that he really wants to build an empire,” Oram said. “Whatever that looks like for him – if it’s kind of what Jordan did before he got into running a team – I think that he really real wants to ultimately be known for something other than basketball. Obviously basketball will be the gateway for everyone to understand Kobe, but then you’ll say, ‘And here’s this great businessman who built things and inspires people.’ I think that’s what he wants to be more than just a guy who played basketball for 20 years, then rode off and lived off of his earnings from basketball.”
Bryant is averaging 15.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 13 games this season.