Kobe Bryant will consider finishing career in Europe
When that time comes, when the Lakers and Bryant part ways, the question will surface: What’s next?
We saw Michael Jordan retire, then un-retire, then retire, then un-retire. We saw Shaquille O’Neal play for a handful of teams in quest of an elusive fifth ring. We saw Allen Iverson try to re-establish his career overseas.
But it’s hard to believe Bryant won’t have a better NBA escape route.
Bryant, 33 (going on 34), recently told Yahoo! Sports in a report that he would consider playing at least one season in Europe to finish his playing career.
Since Bryant “grew up” in Europe when his father Joe Bryantplayed in Italy, it’d be the perfect desert entree to a main course of an NBA career that has included 14 All-NBA teams and two Finals MVPs.
“It would be natural for me to go do it,” Bryant, who speaks Italian and Spanish, told Yahoo! Sports. “It wouldn’t be a stretch at all.”
Currently, Bryant is taking in the Olympic experience at London, attending a variety of events and posting hisadventures on his Facebook page.
“You’d have to look at the market and what’s going on in terms of the level of basketball being played,” Bryant said. “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.”