Source says the Mamba is ready for another two years as he recovers from injury.
Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is reportedly ready to have “two more cracks” at an NBA championship before retiring.
The Mamba is currently in rehabilitation after suffering a ruptured Achilles at the end of the regular season, but is expected to return in time for the start of the next campaign.
Bryant suffered the injury against the Golden State Warriors just as the Lakers were turning their season around and were on the cusp of the playoffs.
His absence was felt in the opening round, as the San Antonio Spurs completed a series sweep to advance to the Western Conference semi-finals.
The 34-year-old sparked panic amongst the Lakers faithful though, by suggesting that his return would mark the “Last Chapter”, but a source has told ESPN that he is ready to return with a vengeance next year with a view to extending his career for another two years.
Speculation surrounding Bryant’s retirement has gathered momentum over the past year, and he has revealed he will only continue playing if he is capable of performing at an elite level.
He appeared to be in fine form last season, averaging 27.3 points on 46.3 shooting, 6.0 assists and 5.6 rebounds a game, all higher than his career averages.
There is also uncertainty surrounding the terms of Bryant’s deal with the Lakers, with the possibility the veteran may reduce his salary in order to help the franchise get well under the cap and build a roster capable of competing for another championship.
Bryant has yet to be given the green light by the medical team to start intense training, but it is clear that he is determined to continue to be patient before the real hard work begins.