Los Angeles Lakers: Kobe Bryant’s Retirement Announcement Premature?

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

In the last few days, the news of Kobe Bryant’s retirement has flooded the NBA world. The Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard told NBA.com that he will probably decide over the summer if he wants to sign a contract extension or not.

Bryant’s arguably the best NBA player of the last two decades. One would think that his retirement announcement would be worthy of a press conference or an ESPN special, or at least something a little bit bigger than an interview with NBA.com that followed up his comments with news that he had seen a foot specialist in Sacramento.

When Scott Howard-Cooper at NBA.com asked if in “your sense that next season will be your last?” Bryant replied: “As I sit here right now, yeah.”

If he is thinking about a real retirement, he’s probably not going to make anything official in such a low-key fashion. A lot of players announce their second and third retirements in a more flamboyant manner.

If everything continues on without difficulty, Bryant will pass Michael Jordan‘s career points total within the span of his current contract. He’s set to pass it in late December 2013 or early 2014 if his scoring averages stay in the range of where they currently are.

However, if Bryant wants to match or pass Jordan’s championship ring count, he might have to sign that extension. If Bryant doesn’t win an NBA championship within the time constraints of his current contract, will he be able to walk away?

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