Kobe Bryant is 34 and not getting any younger. He’s been in the NBA since 1996 — that’s 17 years — and has 5 NBA championships. While Robert Parish played till he was 43, and the oldest player in the NBA right now is 40-year-old New York Knicks player Kurt Thomas, Bryant says he won’t be going down that same path.
In a recent interview during the 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend, when asked how much time he has left in his professional basketball career, the Los Angeles Laker replied: “Probably two years max. Two years max. Next year might be it. It’s one of those things I think I’ll wake up and I’ll know. And if it’s it for me, that’s it, and there’s no looking back.”
Bryant’s $30.5 million contract ends after next season. There’s always the option for a one-year deal, but considering he’s made bank from his endorsements with everyone from Adidas to Turkish Airlines through the years, Black Mamba might be be headed for that early retirement. Watch the full interview below.