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NBA Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers: 5 Reasons Why Kobe Bryant Shouldn’t Even Consider Retiring

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Los Angeles Lakers: 5 Reasons Kobe Bryant Shouldn’t Retire

Los Angeles Lakers: 5 Reasons Kobe Bryant Shouldn’t Retire
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Kobe Bryant will go down as one of the best players of all time when it's all said and done. Some people are calling for his retirement following this NBA season as he finished his season on April 12, 2013 with a torn Achilles tendon against the Golden State Warriors.

This may be one of the hardest injuries to recover from, especially for an athlete with a highly competitive attitude like Bryant's. Also, at the age of 34, he is inching towards the end of his career.

The Los Angeles Lakers will miss the 16-year vet as they will have to complete their playoff run without the superstar.

The guy nicknamed the 'Black Mamba' has nothing to prove to anyone anymore. He took a dysfunctional team this season and led them to the 2013 playoffs, although he won't get to participate.

L.A. is the perfect city for the guy with the big personality. His tweets are funny, his personality is rich and his game is great -- there is no better player to represent the team with the most storied history in the NBA.

Many questions remain. Should Kobe come back for another year? Is his career not worth the health risk at this point? Is he going to win another title? Will the Lakers win without him?

While there are many unanswered questions, time will be the telling factor for each. Kobe is one of the most competitive athletes ever, so I wouldn't be surprised if the veteran superstar decided his career was far from over.

Here are the top five reasons Kobe Bryant shoudn't retire.

Connor Muldowney is a columnist/writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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He’s Too Competitive to End Career on Low Note

He’s Too Competitive to End Career on Low Note
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Let's face it, Kobe could be the most competitive player in the NBA. The Lakers have seen this competitive attitude for almost two decades and he won't be ready to hang up the sneakers. He has a fire inside of him that will likely never be put out, so coming back for another year or two is not too farfetched, Especially after his season was ended on such a low note.

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We Have Yet to See a Kobe-LeBron Final

We Have Yet to See a Kobe-LeBron Final
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

A Kobe Bryant-LeBron James NBA Finals would be huge for the league. Ratings would soar through the roof and could help resurrect the popularity of the NBA. I'm not saying Kobe is worried about TV ratings, but he would definitely love to silence even more critics by conquering King James and the Miami Heat.

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He’s Still Arguably the Best Player in the League

He’s Still Arguably the Best Player in the League
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The guy is in his 16th season and he's still putting up 27.3 points, six assists and 5.6 rebounds per game. Those numbers are higher than his career per-game average in each category. This is quite the feat for a player approaching the age of 35. Sure, LeBron is the best physical specimen in the league, but if anyone could challenge him for the best player in the NBA, it's Kobe -- and he very well could win that debate.

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Lakers Brought in Pieces for Him

Lakers Brought in Pieces for Him
Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Kobe has had pieces added to surround him by the Lakers for years now. Ever since Shaquille O'Neal left Bryant and the Lakers, Jerry Buss made it his mission to add players to complement the superstar. This season was no exception, and may be the most the Lakers have done in one offseason for Bryant. With the addition of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, they have arguably the best 'Big Three' in the league. If Dwight stays in Los Angeles next year, they will be title favorites.

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His Teammates Need Him

His Teammates Need Him
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Like I said in the previous slide, those new additions are here for Kobe's sake. He will need to be a part of the team to hold them together like he did in the second half of this season. No one is more of a leader yet more critical of his team than the Black Mamba.